Gallery: the Shift to Asia (Submarine Cables)

Submarine communications cables make the global Internet, thereby indicating the uses, investment, expectations, geographic diffusion and historical dependencies of its development. Based on the figures and arguments made in this article (Malecki, Wei, 2009), the two animated images below show how the global Internet has shifted to Asia (mostly East Asia), promoting us to reflect on not only the material and geographic foundations of the global Internet, but also the geographic, linguistic and historical position of the “new internet population”. In particular, if one view the submarine cables map in East Asia along with the internet diffusion maps that I have made for Chinese and East Asian regions, the maritime feature stands out, with links connecting major nodes in Japan, Korea, coastal Chinese cities, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Submarine cables linking Asia: 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2005

Submarine cables linking Asia: 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2005

Submarine cables linking the world: 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2005

Submarine cables linking the world: 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2005

The figures from (Malecki, Wei, 2009) thus provide us a reminder that it might be necessary to think how maritime it is for the recent Internet development, and whether the future internet development will experience some “continental” shift. This sets a necessary context to discuss the maritime view of the Internet development in and around China.

海底電纜承載著網際網路,也因此反映了對網際網路的使用、投資、期待、地理擴散與歷史過往。根據此篇論文(Malecki, Wei, 2009)的內容及圖,可以合成出來以下兩個動畫圖,展現網際網路在世界及東亞的地理及物質基礎是如何變化的,進而思考世界新興網民所處的地理、語言及歷史位置。

Reference 引用來源

Malecki, E. J., & Wei, H. (2009). A Wired World: The Evolving Geography of Submarine Cables and the Shift to Asia. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 99(2), 360–382. doi:10.1080/00045600802686216

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