Each month, we look back on the best spatial stories the internet has to offer.
This month sees the opening of a new chapter of discovery with the release of a brand new view of the Milky Way, published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. The map stems from a decade of analysis and thousands of hours of space observations and the outcome is a brand new hydrogen image of the Milky Way and its environment with a level of detail that is at least four times better than previous images. [The Conversation]
A new series of articles entitled “Map of the Internet” explores and charts the global infrastructure that enables these very words to appear on your screen from anywhere in the world. Behind the map is the story of how the internet has evolved rapidly in recent years thanks to the increasing demand for bandwidth pushed by the video streaming industry, and how major outages such as that which took place on the weekend are possible. In all, Quartz has published eleven in-depth articles exploring how this almost invisible infrastructure is fast becoming the one we are most dependent upon. [Quartz]
The true extent of the famed Angkor Wat archaeological site has for decades been regarded as a mystery lost to the jungle. However, a new research team using LiDAR have been able to map the many ancient buildings that fan out from the famous temples we all know today. Chief among the findings: there remains a whole lot more to be found. [NY Times]
Scientists from the CSIRO in Australia are using cutting-edge technology to map the seafloor of the Queensland Basin to understand how the Great Barrier Reef responded to past climate change events. The four week expedition uses new multi-beam echosounders to survey the seafloor to the depth of about 11 kilometres — eight kilometres deeper than scientists could reach previously. While the reef is one of the world’s most studied ecosystems, its depths could still hold many surprises, including how resilient (or not) it might be in the future. [ABC News]
In the wake of the devastating Hurricane Matthew, you may wonder where else in the world is at risk. With NOAA’s Historical Hurricane Tracks it is possible to search for hurricane tracks on the global map by location, name, year and by ocean basin. In all, the map charts over 6,000 historical hurricanes around the world since 1842. As you can see, the most devastating appear regularly in two distinct regions of the world. [Maps Mania]