If you want to know the internet is affected by natural disasters, here's an amazing visualization. It shows all the places where internet service went down after Hurricane Sandy. In the future, disasters don't just rob you of power and water β€” they rob you of information, too.

Using a new internet research tool called ZMap, researchers at the University of Michigan created this map based on how many servers were out during Sandy. According to the Washington Post's Timothy Lee:

From Oct. 29-31 of last year, as Hurricane Sandy was pounding the East Coast of the United States, the researchers conducted Internet-wide scans every two hours. After linking IP addresses to geographic locations, they could observe which areas saw the most severe disruptions. This map shows β€œlocations with more than a 30 percent decrease in the number of listening hosts.”


io9 and all our sister sites in the Gawker Media Network were among those brought down by the hurricane. For almost a week, io9 was offline β€” and we redirected all our traffic to a Tumblr site.

This map is further evidence that the idea of the web "cloud" is basically a lie. There is no special place in the air that your data can go and remain unaffected by life back on Earth. Your data is saved on servers that are just as vulnerable to disasters as anything else. Next time you decide to save all your valuable data online, you might want to think about where your "cloud" servers are β€” and whether you are going to miss that information if a disaster takes it away from you.

Read more at the Washington Post