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“cheap land, abundant power, and accessible fiber optic lines”

[Google’s data center in The Dalles, Oregon; photographed by flickr user The Impression That I Get]

In A Preliminary Atlas of Gizmo Landscapes, mammoth briefly described the Google data center in The Dalles; in an excellent recent article, local The Dalles Chronicle reporter Theodoric Meyer investigates the relationship between Google and local public officials, the impact of the arrival of a second data center — for Facebook — in this rural Oregon town, and the surprising contrast between the willingness of the two internet giants to share information about these physical instantiations of the Invisible City.

[Via Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic; via Andrew Blum, commentary on Meyer’s article at Data Center Knowledge.]

4 Responses to ““cheap land, abundant power, and accessible fiber optic lines””

  1. namhenderson says:

    What i find interesting about the difference in “transparency” of facility operations between the two is the fact that Facebook’s Zuckerberg has for some time now suggested that transparency (in the context of Facebooks privacy concerns for instance) and complete openness are the future of personal data. So perhaps, there is an metaphor that could be extended?

  2. namhenderson says:

    on second thought it is probably just a pr move which they figured out post-Google(s) efforts…

  3. rob says:

    That’s an interesting question, to what degree it is just a PR move.

    What I found most intriguing was how the interactions between the two companies and the local authorities flipped what you expect of the two — at least I think the typical expectation is that when Facebook talks about “openness” we read it with a sinister overtone (“they’re exposing things we don’t want them to expose”), but when Google talks about “openness” we react positively (“they’re an open company and they do good things for the world”).