I stumbled upon interesting visualization of global connectivity patterns:

'Major road and rail networks in Africa, along with transmission line and underwater cable data.'

enter image description here

(Source, more pictures in the gallery. Original.)

Can you point me to other examples of visual representations of connectivity in global scale? Connectivity in this case applies to both transportation and communication. And geovisualizations might include static maps as well as interactive web applications.

  • 3
    Thank you for the question! It already shows awesome answers! Oct 27, 2011 at 16:09
  • 2
    That's a very pretty example, but it's awfully difficult to extract useful information from it. Note, too, that it is not on a global scale: it is strictly on the scale of a continent; we cannot even see about 2/3 of the globe.
    – whuber
    Oct 27, 2011 at 17:09
  • @whuber: Correct in all aspects - hence the question in search for better examples.
    – radek
    Oct 27, 2011 at 17:52

7 Answers 7


Social Networking Map (FaceBook) created using Apache Hive

(500 million connections)

"in R, an open-source statistics environment. As a sanity check, I plotted points at some of the latitude and longitude coordinates."

enter image description here



I have two relevant examples to provide and a dedicated page on globaia :

1) There is a submarine cable map with some interactivity. Tha ability to select a cable and change alpha to unselected items is interesting in term of visualization. Some more explanations regarding this map here. The graphical semiology makes me think to subway maps.

submarine cable map

2 ) An HTML5 Migration map with dynamic visualization. It gives the ability to visualize a lot of data but with no global visualization. The choice of the author is to simplify the representation without breaking the global purpose. In a way, he just makes it possible. The code is shared in github under MIT license.

html5 migration map

3) See also many examples (such as submarine cables, pipelines, transportation, airlines traffic, and soo on) located on the following page : http://globaia.org/en/anthropocene/

Globaia connectivity sample

>> See all connectivity maps on Globaia.


The Global Dependency Explorer is an interesting non-spatial visualization of trade (or connectivity) in the world. It requires Chrome or Safari to browse, unfortunately, and appears a little out of date as there is a server-error showing up in one frame.

enter image description here


Few examples of representing information and transportation highways.

1901 (sic!) Telegraph network (source)

enter image description here

Internet's undersea cables (Guardian)

enter image description here

2009 Global Internet Map by Cisco & TeleGeography

enter image description here

2011 edition (source)

enter image description here

2011 Submarine Cable Map (source)

enter image description here

2010 Global Traffic Map (source)

enter image description here

2007 Internet Map - World City-to-City Connections (source and more maps)

enter image description here

World Travel versus Global Communication As Recorded by Twitter 2011 (source, via)

enter image description here

Routes flown by the top 7 airlines (by international passenger distance flown) (source and tutorial)

enter image description here

One more example of interactive flights visualization from Plane Finder:

enter image description here

Shipping GPS data with a visualizations of Maersk company data

enter image description here

The Globe of Economic Complexity (source) interactively visualizes world trade data both on globe and map.

enter image description here


Several other threads on the site on flow mapping have various eligible candidates.

Below is well known example from Charles Joseph Minard (taken from a web page of Michael Friendly's)

enter image description here

If your reading this thread you would likely be interested in other material Friendly has on his website.


Google showcases Small Arms and Ammunition interactive geovisualization as part of their chromeexperiments workshop. More info about the project here. Really stunning work:

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.