September 14, 2010

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New Infographic: How Video Data Travels From a Phone to YouTube to a Laptop

This infographic in this post shows the path that a video takes as it is recorded on a cell phone, uploaded to YouTube, and then watched by people at home.

A few months back, we created an infographic that shows how mobile data travels from a smartphone to an end user’s laptop. Folks seemed to be pretty interested in that, so I worked with our wireless team to whip up another one.

It’s pretty amazing stuff. I knew from working on the last infographic that the process was much more complicated than one might imagine, but this really blew my mind, too. Did you know that when you upload a video to YouTube, it is automatically saved in a number of different file formats on the server so that people at home get the best playback experience possible?

During the “processing” time immediately following an upload, the computers on YouTube’s end are saving your video in formats that are optimized for several different cell phone browsers, as well as Firefox, Explorer, etc. When you navigate to a video, the servers detect what sort of machine and browser you’re using and deliver the optimized file for maximum performance.

I know. Mind = KABOOM.

You probably won’t be able to read the infographic below — click on the image to see it full-size, or you can see it here.

Data Flow From Smartphone to YouTube to Laptop

As always, if you have questions — or ideas for a future infographic — let us know in the comments.


  1. Kathy E Gill's reply

    Jeff, I’d love to take this info graphic and turn into an interactive “flow” using a tool like Prezi. But y’all haven’t released this under any sort of Creative Commons license. How might I get permission? Thanks!

  2. Shiyu's reply

    Anyone knows what exactly the software created this poster? I tried Prezi but the background looks more like the Sims 1!

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