Created by Elco Koks & Sadhana Nirandjan Source code Based on WebGL Globe, OpenStreetMap and Nirandjan et al. (2022)
Global Infrastructure Index


Brief explanation

We present the Critical Infrastructure Spatial Index (CISI) to express the spatial intensity of critical infrastructure (CI) at the global scale. A total of 39 CI types (e.g. primary roads, wastewater plants, and hospitals) are defined and categorized under seven overarching CI systems: transportation, energy, telecommunication, waste, water, education and health. The CISI is the aggregation of high-resolution geospatial information of CI based on OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. Spatial data for the representation of CI are extracted from OSM, rasterized, and aggregated to compute a CISI value ranging between 0 (no CI) and 1 (highest CI intensity). In this visualizer, the CISI and the sub-score per CI system are projected at a resolution of 0.25 degrees.

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Energy system

We selected seven infrastructure types for the representation of the energy system. These infrastructure types are related to the production, conversion and delivery of energy, and includes the following infrastructure types: cable, line, minor line, power tower, power pole, plant, and substation. In total, the dataset consists of 28,750 kilometers of power cables, over 4,3 million kilometers of power lines, and 571,416 minor lines. We find over 20 million supporting structures, of which 64% can be accounted for by power towers and the remaining 36% by power poles. The dataset contains 16,193 plants globally, and 167,190 substations.

Water system

The CI system water entails infrastructure that is critical for the water supply. We selected five infrastructure types that provide services for the extraction, distribution, and storage of both potable and non-potable water: water tower, water well, reservoir covered, reservoir, and water works. The extraction process resulted in a total of 370,218 unique water elements, with the infrastructure type reservoir having the highest contribution of 89%. Globally, we find 14,947 water towers, 4,801 water wells, 12,762 covered reservoirs, and 7,792 water works.

Waste system

For the waste system, we made a distinction between solid waste and water waste. Accordingly, the waste system is sub-divided into two subsystems. The solid waste subsystem is represented by infrastructure types waste transfer station and landfill. We represent the water waste subsystem using the infrastructure type water waste treatment plant. We extracted 1,951 waste transfer stations, 34,551 land fill sites, and 15,870 water waste treatment plants at a global scale.

Transportation system

The transportation system is sub-divided into three subsystems: roads, railways, and airports. The total length of road infrastructure extracted from OSM is over 51 million kilometers, of which approximately 42.6 million is tertiary, 5.1 million primary, and 3.7 million secondary. We extracted over 2 million kilometers of railway infrastructure, and 17,508 airports worldwide.

Telecommunications system

The telecommunications system is represented by two infrastructure types: communication tower and mast. Communication towers are used for transmitting (a range of) radio applications (e.g. televisions, radio, and mobile phone), are often characterized by a height of over 100 meters, and are usually made of concrete. Masts, in contrast, are usually only used for a single application, and are a couple of meters high. Globally, the dataset counts approximately 141,478 communication towers and 80,750.

Education system

The subsystem education is represented by five infrastructure types: college, kindergarten, library, school, and university. We extracted 863,928 education facilities from the OSM database. Approximately 74.5% of the extracted education facilities are attributed to schools, followed by kindergartens (13.8%), universities (4.3%), colleges (4.0%), and libraries (3.4%).

Health system

The CISI includes the following health facilities: doctor, pharmacy, hospital, clinic, dentist, physiotherapist, alternative, laboratory, optometrist, rehabilitation, blood donation, birthing center. The number of health facilities at the global scale is 862,548. Approximately 35.2% of extracted health facilities are attributed to pharmacies, followed by hospitals (22.1%), clinics (15.1%), doctors (13.9%), dentists (10.6%), physiotherapists (1.1%), alternative facilities (0.8%), laboratories (0.6%), optometrists (0.2%), rehabilitation centers (0.2%), blood donation facilities (0.1%), and birthing centers (0.03%).