Field Listing

Communications – note

This entry includes miscellaneous communications information of significance not included elsewhere.

  • Austria

    note 1: the Austrian National Library contains important collections of the Imperial Library of the Holy Roman Empire and of the Austrian Empire, as well as of the Austrian Republic; among its more than 12 million items are outstanding holdings of rare books, maps, globes, papyrus, and music; its Globe Museum is the only one in the world

    note 2: on 1 October 1869, Austria-Hungary introduced the world's first postal card - postal stationery with an imprinted stamp indicating the prepayment of postage; simple and cheap (sent for a fraction of the cost of a regular letter), postal cards became an instant success, widely produced in the millions worldwide

    note 3: Austria followed up with the creation of the world's first commercial picture postcards - cards bearing a picture or photo to which postage is affixed - in May 1871; sent from Vienna, the image served as a souvenir of the city; together, postal cards and post cards served as the world's e-mails of the late 19th and early 20th centuries

    note 4: Austria was also an airmail pioneer; from March to October of 1918, it conducted the world's first regular (daily) airmail service - between the imperial cities of Vienna, Krakow, and Lemberg - a combined distance of some 650 km (400 mi) (earlier airmail services had been set up in a few parts of the world, but only for short stretches and none lasted beyond a few days or weeks); an expansion of the route in June of 1918 allowed private mail to be flown to Kyiv, in newly independent Ukraine, which made the route the world's first regular international airmail service (covering a distance of some 1,200 km; 750 mi)

  • Bouvet Island

    has an automated meteorological station

  • British Indian Ocean Territory

    Diego Garcia hosts one of four dedicated ground antennas that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system (the others are on Kwajalein (Marshall Islands), at Cape Canaveral, Florida (US), and on Ascension Island (Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha))

  • Coral Sea Islands

    automatic weather stations on many of the isles and reefs relay data to the mainland

  • Egypt

    one of the largest and most famous libraries in the ancient world was the Great Library of Alexandria in Egypt (founded about 295 B.C., it may have survived in some form into the 5th century A.D.); seeking to resurrect the great center of learning and communication, the Egyptian Government in 2002 inaugurated the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, an Egyptian National Library on the site of the original Great Library, which commemorates the original archive and also serves as a center of cultural and scientific excellence

  • French Southern and Antarctic Lands

    has one or more meteorological stations on each possession

  • Holy See (Vatican City)

    the Vatican Apostolic Library is one of the world's oldest libraries, formally established in 1475, but actually much older; it holds a significant collection of historic texts including 1.1 million printed books and 75,000 codices (manuscript books with handwritten contents); it serves as a research library for history, law, philosophy, science, and theology; the library's collections have been described as "the world's greatest treasure house of the writings at the core of Western tradition"

  • Marshall Islands

    Kwajalein hosts one of four dedicated ground antennas that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system (the others are at Cape Canaveral, Florida (US), on Ascension (Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha), and at Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory))

  • Morocco

    the University of al-Quarawiyyin Library in Fez is recognized as the oldest existing, continually operating library in the world, dating back to A.D. 859; among its holdings are approximately 4,000 ancient Islamic manuscripts (2018)

  • Pitcairn Islands

    satellite-based local phone service and broadband Internet connections available in all homes

  • Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha

    Ascension Island hosts one of four dedicated ground antennas that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system (the others are on Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory), Kwajalein (Marshall Islands), and at Cape Canaveral, Florida (US)); South Africa maintains a meteorological station on Gough Island in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago

  • Saudi Arabia

    the innovative King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (informally known as Ithra, meaning "enrichment") opened on 1 December 2017 in Dhahran, Eastern Region; its facilities include a grand library, several museums, an archive, an Idea Lab, a theater, a cinema, and an Energy Exhibit, all which are meant to provide visitors an immersive and transformative experience

  • Ukraine

    a sorting code to expeditiously handle large volumes of mail was first set up in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) in the 1930s; the sophisticated, three-part (number-letter-number) postal code system, referred to as an "index," was the world's first postal zip code; the system functioned well and was in use from 1932 to 1939 when it was abruptly discontinued

  • United Kingdom

    note 1: the British Library claims to be the largest library in the world with well over 150 million items and in most known languages; it receives copies of all books produced in the UK or Ireland, as well as a significant proportion of overseas titles distributed in the UK; in addition to books (print and digital), holdings include: journals, manuscripts, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, videos, maps, prints, patents, and drawings

    note 2: on 1 May 1840, the United Kingdom led the world with the introduction of postage stamps; the Austrian Empire had examined the idea of an "adhesive tax postmark" for the prepayment of postage in 1835; while the suggestion was reviewed in detail, it was rejected for the time being; other countries (including Austria) soon followed the UK's example with their own postage stamps; by the 1860s, most countries were issuing stamps; originally, stamps had to be cut from sheets; the UK issued the first postage stamps with perforations in 1854

  • United States

    note 1: The Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA, claims to be the largest library in the world with more than 167 million items (as of 2018); its collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include materials from all parts of the world and in over 450 languages; collections include: books, newspapers, magazines, sheet music, sound and video recordings, photographic images, artwork, architectural drawings, and copyright data

    note 2: Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, hosts one of four dedicated ground antennas that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system (the others are on Ascension (Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tistan da Cunha), Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory), and at Kwajalein (Marshall Islands)

  • World

    note 1: three major data centers - which provide colocation, telecommunications, cloud services, and content ecosystems - compete to be called the world's biggest in terms of physical space occupied:

    no. 1. - a data farm in Langfang, Hebei Province, China, identified as the Range International Information Group, claims to be the largest with 585,000 sq m (6.3 million sq ft),

    no. 2. - a data farm in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, known as the Switch SuperNAP data center, comes in second with over 325,000 sq m (3.5 million sq ft); it intends to expand to over 1.615 million sq m (17.4 million sq ft) by 2020,

    no. 3. - a data farm in Ashburn, Virginia, USA, referred to as the DFT Data Center, is a transit point for 70% of the world's Internet traffic; it includes 150,000 sq m (1.6 million sq ft) spread out over six separate buildings

    note 2: estimates are that by the end of 2019, 53.9% of the global population (4.1 billion people) were using the Internet