Tech giant Facebook is constructing a map of every human-occupied building on Earth with the expectation that a day will arrive when people who dwell in the most remote areas of the world can have access to internet.
This new mapping project is part of Facebook’s internet.org connectivity lab. It has analysed that nearly 10 percent of the world still lives in remote or rural areas without internet connectivity. Apparently, knowing where people live in relation to each other will also help Facebook figure out the best way to give internet access to these communities.
The maps are very different from the kind we are familiar with. Usually, maps tell us directions and, lately, Google has also started giving us directions on the nearest petrol pumps and restaurants. But these ones will detail human settlements.
“Villages lined up along a river or road could be connected by a string of terrestrial point-to-point links, while scattered settlements might require an aerial backhaul solution such as unmanned aerial vehicles or satellites,” Facebook said in its blog post.
In the blog post, the company announced that it has created new, high-resolution population-distribution maps of 20 countries, most of which are developing. It added that it could release most of the maps later this year.
Facebook’s map will inform the company where to use their technology. They believe that their recent data will have more impactful applications such as socio-economic research and risk assessment for natural disaster.