Friday, April 12, 2024

The 2024 Submarine Cable Map

the 2024 submarine cable map presented as a globe

Every year the telecommunications company Telegeography releases a new, updated version of its Submarine Cable map. This map shows all the undersea telecommunication cables which carry data around the world.The 2024 Submarine Cable Map is now available. 

Subsea cables carry telecommunication signals under the oceans, communicating information between different countries and regions of the world. In the 19th Century the first submarine cables were laid to carry telegraphy traffic. In the 21st Century submarine cables carry digital data. This includes all our telephone and Internet data.

This year's version of Telegeography's undersea cable map plots 529 cable systems and 1,444 landing stations. The 2024 Submarine Cable map is available as a free download or you can purchase a wall map for $250. In previous years Telegeography has often experimented with different vintage map styles. This year's edition is much more straightforward (which is probably the most sensible design choice). 

One interesting cartographic choice in this year's edition of the map is the positioning of some of the inset maps on top of the massive Russian landmass. These inset maps provide a close-up view of country landing stations and the cable systems which they serve around the world. Normally you might expect inset maps to be positioned in the ocean, and in the corners of a map. However because the major focus of a submarine cable map is the oceans and coastlines it makes sense to position inset maps inland (although the central prominence of the Egypt hub makes little geographical sense and may owe more to the fact that the map is sponsored by Telecom Egypt). 

You can explore Telegeography's Submarine Cable Maps for previous years just by changing the year in the map's URL. For example, one of my favorite Telegeography maps can be found at This 2015 map was inspired by medieval and renaissance cartography and features a vintage map style containing sea monsters, cartouches and border illustrations.

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