The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the FCC, developed an interactive online map that shows what high-speed Internet services are available, to every neighborhood in the U.S.A. The first version was completed in 2011.
Here are some notable data points, culled by me. The article that I linked to in my previous paragraph has the NTIA’s highlights. In the U.S.A.:
99% have access to broadband speeds of 3 Mbps downstream and 768 Kbps upstream (wired or wireless).
96% have access to broadband speeds of 6 Mbps downstream and 1.5 Mbps upstream
90% have access to 4G wireless broadband
20% have access to fiber
6.7% have gigabit connections in their neighborhoods.
200 of 2,083 broadband providers offer 100-megabit connections
Government agencies, state-level non-profits and carriers provide the information. After verifying, the NTIA and FCC use the data to create the national map.
The landing page at Broadband Map has an omni-box type input screen. I found it easier to work backward from the views though.
For example, look closely at the map of consumer broadband advertised speeds versus typical speeds. That is very helpful for understanding how much (as a numeric value) your ISP’s, internet service provider’s, advertised speed differs from what you personally observe at home. The reasons for that differential can be described without technical specifics, but they are detailed. It is enough material for a separate blog post, if any one is interested, tell me in the comments, and if so, I’ll write about it. My favorite map is the interactive view by broadband technology type.
Have a look at the data transfer model. It was used to collect data from the multiple contributors. It is NOT intended for use as a mapping tool! It is helpful for an at-a-glance high-level data overview. The format for the transfer data model is a geodatabase.
I do not know if the Broadband Map’s geodatabase conforms to any open standard. I searched, to see if one existed, and was used by the NTIA, but was unsuccessful.. I’m not certain if an open geodatabase standard even exists!
In lieu of anything substantive, I offer a pretty picture.
It isn’t due to extreme cold, nor latitude, I don’t believe. The body of water in the embedded Google Map here is in a very cold area, e.g. -20 F average winter temperatures, in the northern part of Canada’s Northwest Territories. Yet even chillier bodies of water are blue e.g. in the Arctic Ocean, some distance due north.
Incomplete data Remote bodies of water such as Great Bear Lake, are probably not supplemented by additional data beyond satellite images. Counter argument The same might be true for the Arctic Ocean, yet it is not black! Response Google might have decided to just color that in, in shades of blue, as the information isn’t going to be relied upon by Google Maps users to navigate the Arctic Ocean. In contrast, there is a possibility that Google Maps coverage of Great Bear Lake could be used by hikers, which probably isn’t advisable. When seeing it in black, casual hikers might be more likely to check with local Canadian civil authorities for weather conditions and suitability for visiting, precautions advised etc. which is a good idea, and safer for that locale!
Water depth? Maybe, but the Arctic Ocean should be as deep or more so than Great Bear Lake, I think.
Censorship or sensitive information pertaining to Canadian (and U.S.) national security Unlikely, for many reasons. It is a big, cold, remote region.
British map, 1922. Sandy Island is a non-existent island near New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie). Scientists have recently confirmed that it does not exist. Notwithstanding this, Sandy Island has been featured on many maps throughout history, including presently on Google Earth. On the other hand, many maps have not featured this non-existent island. With thanks to the awesome David Rumsey Map Collection.
British cartographers, in 1922, did excellent work, far better than the Italians and Soviets that followed over the next 50 years. David Rumsey is indeed awesome! He won a nice award from Stanford University recently, which I posted as a link on Reddit. Or perhaps his foundation sponsored an award to a cartographer-librarian at Stanford? I need to double check, as the foundation was associated with an estate i.e. someone deceased. Exceptional Map #2 coming up next.
This is an all-around exceptional news story, which Maps of Sandy Island tumblr is covering admirably well!
If you wish to view in full sized glory, click, or visit the artist’s website, JacquelineVanDusen tumblr.
I liked the realistic feel of this. It uses different fonts to distinguish between languages. The thick cursive black marker (in Russian, presumably) is an agreeable contrast to the other sans-serif English language font, and to the precision of vector grey Manhattan streets. Splotches of color are nice too, reminding me of watercolor. Yet there is contrast, again, of a practical sort: The horizontal latitude-like lines keep it tidy, organized, and are functional.
Yes, one can now build with LEGO anywhere and everywhere, well, certainly throughout Australia on Google Maps. Don’t worry if you are not located in Australia or New Zealand, as it seems to work fine for users in other countries e.g. for me in the U.S.A.
As of now, this Google Maps ‘feature’ (I’m not really sure what it is… it doesn’t seem clearly tied to Google Play which is a games platform) is limited to a single continent. The website “About” page indicates that other parts of the world may become available for LEGO homesteading in the near future.
The site address, Build with Chrome reminds me that it may be necessary to use Chrome browser for this to work, or perhaps a Chrome Netbook, if you have one (I don’t). It functioned well on my laptop, but I don’t know if it would on any of those high end fancy devices like iTablets…