Internet of everything
Internet of everything

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1.1.3 The internet: the place to go

Normally, when people use the term internet, they are not referring to the physical connections in the real world. Rather, they tend to think of it as a formless collection of connections. It is the 'place' people go to find or share information. It is the 21st century library, video store, and personal photo album.

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Figure 1 Simplified model of global internet traffic

In actuality, the internet is essentially a network of networks.

Each of us connects to the internet using a physical cable or through wireless media. Underneath this network of networks lies a very real backbone of connections that bring the world to our personal computing devices.

The figure is an oversimplified map of global internet traffic; however, it depicts how countries and continents are connected. View this TeleGgeography map [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]  that depicts the location of submarine cables.

After you have opened the map, click any cable on the map to highlight that cable and see the points at which it connects with land. (Alternatively, you can select any cable from the list to the right of the map.)

Click any city on the map to see a list of all the cables that connect to that city.

A great amount of engineering, effort, and money goes into the planning and deployment of each of these cables.

Figure 2 is a connected map that highlights the transition to the IoE. Click on 'view larger image' to see a clearer version.

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Figure 2 Transitioning to the IoE

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