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Geographies of Interconnection: Connecting to the World

File:Submarine cable map umap.png - Wikimedia Commons

Map of underwater internet cables. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Advancements in technology have dramatically changed the ways we connect across the world. From faster transport to the invention of the internet, we can now connect across the world at incredible speeds. Read through the resources below to learn more about connecting to the world and some of the barriers to this connection.

Interconnection - what it means and how it's transforming IT (The Australian, 2016, February 17)

This article looks at interconnection infrastructure in the IT world and how its essential to the future of business.

A map of all the underwater cables that connect the internet (Vox, 2015, November 8)

In this map of underwater cables that connect the internet, in addition to seeing the cables, you'll find information about "latency" at the bottom of the map (how long it takes for information to transmit) and "lit capacity" in the corners (which shows how much traffic a system can send, usually measured in terabytes). You can browse a full zoomable version here.

How does geographical distance affect social interactions? (World Economic Forum, 2015, July 21)

Many claim that the IT revolution has reduced the importance of geographical proximity. People no longer need to meet each other physically, and with the emergence of the new technologies it would be possible to think of a world with no geographical barriers (Green and Ruhleder 1995, Farazmand 1999). Recent evidence has, however, shown that this is not always the case. Read through this article to learn more.

Rural and remote health: access to health care (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019, October 22)

On average, Australians living in rural and remote areas have shorter lives, higher levels of disease and injury and poorer access to and use of health services, compared with people living in metropolitan areas.  Read through this website to see how geographical distance creates a barrier for accessing healthcare in remote Australia.

A brief history of transportation (ThoughtCo, 2020, January 9)

Whether by land or by sea, humans have always sought to traverse the earth and move to new locations. The evolution of transportation has brought us from simple canoes to space travel, and there's no telling where we could go next and how we will get there. This article is a brief history of transportation, dating from the first vehicles 900,000 years ago to modern-day times.

Australian transport history: how 19th century innovators transformed transport tech (Australian Academy of Technology & Engineering, n.d.)

The transport revolution of the 20th century was incremental when compared to the wide-ranging transport technologies that emerged in the 19th century. The invention of bicycles, trams, trains, ocean-going steamers and cars dramatically changed our capabilities as humans. In this extract, Dr Maxwell Gordon Lay FTSE, author of The Harnessing of Power: How 19th Century Transport Innovators Transformed the Way the World Operates, explains that the ability to routinely travel long distances quickly was not an important human need, and received little evolutionary priority. In other words, humans evolved in a “low speed world”.

Globalisation, transport and the environment (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, n.d.)

OECD has recently analysed the impacts of globalisation on transport levels, the consequences for the environment, and the policy instruments that can be used to limit any negative impacts for the environment. The key findings from this analysis are presented in this brief.

How transportation changed the world (Spike Aerospace, n.d.)

Powered transportation was developed less than 250 years ago, but it is hard to imagine life before ships, trains, cars and airplanes. With the invention and adoption of modern transportation, standards of living of people around the world radically increased because for the first time trade was easier, safer, faster, more reliable and convenient.

How technology will change the way we work (World Economic Forum, 2015, August 13)

Since the dawn of time, humans have developed tools and technology to assist in the pursuit of our goals. Large shifts in technology have resulted in large shifts in social structures, and how individuals both contribute to society and make a living. Read through this article to learn more.

Crowded skies, expanding airports (Esri, n.d.)

This article is a great look at how fast rates of air travel is increasing, and what it means for people and their connection to place and each other, as well as the environment.

Smartphone ownership and internet usage continues to climb in emerging economies (Pew Research Centre, 2016, February 22)

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, both economically and socially, technology adoption remains one of the defining factors in human progress. Read through this article to learn more.

How the internet promotes development (World Bank, 2016)

The internet has had a massive impact on almost all aspects of life, linking various technologies so that information can be distributed and accessed effortlessly from anywhere. Read through this report to learn more about how this aids in development.

Digital infrastructure: overcoming digital divide in emerging economies (G20 Insights, 2020, December 10)

Since the 1990s when the internet began to be commercialised globally, the debate on how to close the digital divide has attracted widespread attention. In this Policy Brief, G20 Insights review the literature on the digital divide in emerging economies with a view to explaining: 1) how internet connectivity promotes social and economic inclusiveness, efficiency and innovation; 2) why the physical access to the internet alone is insufficient to capture the full benefits of digital technology and what other social conditions should be considered; and 3) how to further connect the unconnected population.

The Northwest Passage: the Arctic Holy Grail (Discovering the Arctic, n.d.)

The Northwest Passage – a water route through the islands of northern Canada connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – a treasure that explorers had sought for centuries. The quest began as a search for a shorter shipping route between Europe and Asia. But, with each ship and life lost during the 300 year search, explorers seeking the Northwest Passage were also on a hunt for glory. Read through this website to learn more about how the Northwest Passage helped overcome physical geographic barriers to connectivity.

Failed attempts at traversing the Northwest Passage (Quark Expeditions, 2016, January 4)

The Northwest Passage has long been considered one of the most important marine paths in history, shortening the distance between Europe and eastern Asia by thousands of miles. This passage, once explored and tackled, also bridged these faraway lands to the eastern United States and the Canadian North. Although the passage has always been integral in shipping valuable mineral resources from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to the Arctic and Canadian Islands, it’s never exactly been smooth sailing. Read through this article to learn more.

Forty years of the internet: how the world changed forever (The Guardian, 2009, October 23)

This article takes an in-depth look at the history of the internet and how it has changed the world.

10 ways the internet has changed the way we live (and do business) (Neosperience, 2021, May 1)

The Internet is still relatively young and yet the connectivity has already produced long-lasting effects. It all started with a cable plugged into the phone line, and now we possess the entire world in the palm of our hand. Read through this article to see 10 ways that the internet has completely changed how we live.