Good morning everyone.
Today I have something a bit different from my usual stultifying pontifications. I was viewing a video on YouTube, I forget what it was now, and I happened to spot a video in the right hand column entitled “100 Years of Ships”. I like ships in general, and 100 years of them might be quite a show, so I started the video, but it wasn’t at all what I expected.
What I was watching was a graphical representation of the shipping routes used during the period of 1750 to 1850, plotted month by month on a map of the world. It shows primarily routes used by the British, Dutch, and Spanish, and has an ‘other’ category that everyone else is lumped into.
It was fascinating to watch. You can see the trade routes to Africa, India, and Malaysia, and the routes to the New World, as well as some of the routes used by exploratory and military expeditions. It’s a very interesting way of looking at history. The data used for the routes was taken from the information recorded in the logbooks from the many ships that were sailing during that period. Someone did one hell of a lot of work to create the database used for the visualization.
I was curious as to how the visualization was made, so I went to the creator’s website, Sapping Attention, to find out more.