In what is likely a development that you'll find: neat, interesting, very fucking unsettling, or some combination of the three, Facebook now reportedly knows where all 7.5 billion people on earth live within 15 feet.
This information was acquired when the borderline creepy company that everyone you know voluntarily gives their information to created a data map of earth's entire population by utilizing info from their commercial space satellites, as well as government census numbers. The mapping tech that resulted (which Facebook claims they made themselves) can supposedly identify any man-made structures on the planet within five meters.
The official rationale behind the breakthrough that the company provided to CNBC is that it will help them figure out which types of internet service they can use to get solid internet to people currently living in areas on the globe with crappy connections.
"Satellites are exciting for us. Our data showed the best way to connect cities is an internet in the sky," said Facebook's head of strategic innovation partnerships and sourcing, Janna Lewis, when she was in San Francisco for this week's Space Technology and Investment Forum. "We're trying to connect people from the stratosphere and from space."
According to Engadget, Facebook's Connectivity Lab has released some findings from this mapping effort. And by that, we mean that last year Facebook revealed a dataset with info collected on 23 countries that said 99 percent of the people in these 23 nations were within 40 miles of a nearby city. As the Connectivity Lab's Tobias Tiecke wrote about those findings' significance: "If we are able to develop communication technologies that can bridge 63 km with sufficiently high data rates, we should be able to connect 99 percent of the population in these 23 countries."
Sounds like a worthy enough goal. Plus, let's be honest, your address was probably listed somewhere (a.k.a. the damn phonebook) anyway.