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100 years of shipping

Top: In this visualization, data from a span of 100 years are compressed into a single year to highlight seasonal trends.
 
Bottom: This visualization may be long (approximately 12 minutes), but it shows 100 years of ship paths, revealing key trends.

Antique ships' logs found new purpose through CLIWOC, the European Union's Climatalogical Database for the World's Oceans.

The CLIWOC team digitized ship's logs from between 1750 and 1850 so that they could mine them for data on how the climate evolved during that time. But the long journey of these log books doesn't end there.

Now, that data has found new life as historians dive in, using CLIWOC's dataset to visualize trade routes over time.

This week's visual shows a video of those trade routes, created by Benjamin Schmidt, a graduate student studying history at Princeton University. Schmidt was himself inspired by static maps, which were created by James Cheshire, a researcher at the University College London, and posted on Spatial Analysis, Cheshire's blog.

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This week's visual shows

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