A thoroughfare [] beat Across the wilderness

A thoroughfare [] beat Across the wilderness follows speculative pathways of long-distance fiber-optic internet service provider (ISP) cabling (as studied in InterTubes: A Study of the US Long-haul Fiber-optic Infrastructure). With fiber-optic routes generally considered a state or corporate secret, this 4-year study headed by Paul Barford is the first of its kind.

What these mapped ISP routes offer is a remarkable coherence to the US highway system. My book traces the line of a single cable that runs from the New York Stock Exchange to Palo Alto, CA, as followed by Google Streetview. A script gathers the image of the road every few hundred feet, tiling the road textures under which our speculative cable line is likely buried. A thoroughfare [] beat Across the wilderness is an exercise in photographing what is kept intentionally invisible.

A necessary thank-you to Ramakrishnan Durairajan, Paul Barford, Joel Sommers, and Walter Willinger for their whitepaper InterTubes: A Study of the US Long-haul Fiber-optic Infrastructure.

Download a PDF of the book.