Here’s a Map of the Internet’s IRL Series of Tubes

February 8, 2013 | Andy Cush

The internet is so omnipresent in most of our lives that it’s easy to forget about the vast physical network that supports it–which, among other things, is comprised of a staggering 550,000 miles of underground cabling. To show you exactly what that means, communications research firm TeleGeography and designer Markus Kristeya created the above beautifully old-timey map of each and every stretch of wire.

“The beautiful hand-drawn details found on old maps have always fascinated me and are sorely missing from contemporary cartography,” says Kristeya. “Modern maps are more often than not designed with accuracy and visual clarity in mind. I thought it would be fun to see if we could make a map about modern telecom technology using the aesthetics and artistic flourishes found in antique maps–without sacrificing the legibility of the data behind it.”

Want your own? Prints are available for $250. Head here to buy and see a super-zoomable high-res version.