The Infrastructure of Planet Earth

3 percent (4.5 million km2 / 2.8 million mi2) of the Earth’s land cover is occupied by urban areas. However, even non-urban areas contain roads, railroads and other marks of human presence. Only ten percent of the world is truly a wilderness.

Silas Soule

Railroads

Railroads have played an immense role in shaping the world we live in today. Since the first steam locomotive journey on February 21st, 1804 in South Wales, history has been written in rail cars and railway across every continent. In everything from leisure, to territorial expansion, to map making, and even (especially) the Industrial Revolution – Rail travel has created a transportation narrative that lives on today and has shaped the day to day transportation needs of millions of people from New York to Tokyo and everywhere in between.

Pictured here are the thousands of railways that connect the various regions of our world. These revolutionary transportation networks were the godfathers of the hyper-connectivity we know today.

The combined length of all railroads on Earth 1,051,768 km (653,538 miles).

RailRoads
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Roads

The combined length of all roads on our planet 33,618,331 km (20.89 million miles).

Roads
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Roads vs Railroads

Roads vs Railroads
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Seaports

There are 7698 seaports in the world.

Seaports
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Shipping logs

The map below is drawn entirely from shipping logs from 1945.

Shipping logs
Reddit user: FoamyJr

Airports

There are 7698 airports in the world.

Only Airports
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The transport system of our planet

The transport system of our planet
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Cities

Number cities in the world – 1,880, 246, 838.

Only cities
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The transport system and cities.

The transport system and cities
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