150 ships

Oldweather is steaming past milestone after milestone, and a few days ago we passed a big one : 150 ships complete. That is; 150 ships, from Acacia to Wonganella, have had all of their log pages for the period transcribed by at least three people. That’s 89,000 pages of new information for climate and historical research.

To mark the completion of 100 logs, we made a movie showing the ships bustling about across the world’s oceans. Rather than updating this with the new information, I thought I’d be a little more ambitious and show the transcribed data in a more comprehensive and interactive format.

I’ve long been an admirer of Google Earth – a geospatial data viewer that’s powerful, easy to use, and, most important, free to download and use. If you haven’t played with it I urge you to give it a try – download a copy and have a look at the satellite’s-eye view of your favourite places. But the real charm of Google Earth is that we can add our own data as overlays. It works very well for following ships; and I’ve made an overlay from the 150 completed oldWeather ships.

So once you’ve got Google Earth, download the overlay and have a look at what you’ve created: select a ship from the list on the left, pick a time using the slider at the top, and click on the markers to see the day’s records for that ship. The user interface takes a bit of getting used to, but with practice you can make your own animations.

I included as many of the transcriptions as I could, but there are some that I haven’t yet managed to convert into this format. So if you can’t find something you know you entered, don’t worry: we haven’t lost it. It will take a little longer, but we will make it all available.

oldWeather in Google Earth

Browsing the oldWeather ship records in Google Earth.

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