The D.C. Underground Atlas

Speaking of Washington, the D.C. Underground Atlas is a project to map all the tunnels under the city: utility, transportation and pedestrian tunnels alike, from metro and water tunnels to the underground corridors connecting congressional buildings. The maps are presented as Esri Story Maps and there’s lots of accompanying text. The project is the brainchild of Elliot Carter, who is profiled by CityLab and the Washington Post: both pieces reveal one challenge in mapping the underground infrastructure of Washington—getting past security concerns. [WMS]

European Electrical Grid

Here’s an interactive map of the European electrical grid from ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity.

This map is a comprehensive illustration of the transmission system network operated by members of the European Network of Transmission System Operators.

In general the map shows all transmission lines designed for 220kV voltage and higher and generation stations with net generation capacity of more than 100MW.

Maps of the grid are also available as downloadable PDFs. [Maps on the Web]

The FCC’s Broadband Map ‘Hallucinates’ Broadband Access

In February the FCC released a new broadband map showing the availability of high-speed internet in the United States. The previous map was apparently useless, but the new map has been coming in for its share of criticism as well because it doesn’t match the reality on the ground. Partly it’s because the map shows the number of internet providers providing service by census block whereas actual availability is more granular than that. But only partly. Techdirt’s Karl Bode says both old and new versions of the map “all-but hallucinate available options out of whole cloth while vastly over-stating the speeds available to American consumers”:

For example, I can only get access to one ISP (Comcast) at my residence in Seattle, purportedly one of the nation’s technology leaders. Yet the FCC’s new map informs me I have seven broadband options available to me. Two of these options, CenturyLink DSL and CenturyLink fiber are somehow counted twice despite neither actually being available. Three others are satellite broadband service whose high prices, high latency and low caps make them unsuitable as a real broadband option. The seventh is a fixed-wireless option that doesn’t actually serve my address.

Some U.S. senators aren’t happy either. [Leventhal]

‘The Massive Scope of America’s Infrastructure’

"Pipelines." The Washington Post, 1 December 2016.
“Pipelines.” The Washington Post, 1 December 2016.

The Washington Post has six maps of U.S. flights, shipping lanes, electrical transmission lines, railroads and pipelines that highlight “the massive scope of America’s infrastructure” that will presumably be the focus of future Trump administration spending. [Benjamin Hennig]

Cyber Squirrel 1

Cyber Squirrel 1, a map that tracks electrical outages caused by squirrels, birds, raccoons and other critters, is only semi-satirical. Its point is that animals disrupt the power grid more than hackers ever have. (The number caused by the latter may be one. Or two.) As Popular Science puts it, “If there is a cyber war happening, it’s one fought between humanity and nature, not nations against each other.” GizmodoWashington Post.