Interactive map of global shipping routes

Kiln and the UCL Energy Institute have created shipmap.org, a fascinating interactive map that tracks global shipping for a year (2012).

Screengrab of shipmap.org
How the map looks with all the routes selected. Click on image to go to shipmap.org

Here’s how it works:

The merchant fleet is divided into five categories, each of which has a filter and a CO2 and freight counter for the hour shown on the clock:

  • Container (e.g. manufactured goods): number of container slots equivalent to 20 feet (i.e. a 40-foot container takes two slots)
  • Dry bulk (e.g. coal, aggregates): combined weight of cargo, fuel, water, provisions, passengers and crew a vessel can carry, measured in thousand tonnes
  • Tanker (e.g. oil, chemicals): same as dry bulk
  • Gas bulk (e.g. liquified natural gas): capacity for gases, measured in cubic metres
  • Vehicles (e.g. cars): same as dry bulk

If you’re interested in tracking ships around New Zealand (or anywhere, really), I can recommend marinetraffic.com. The website and the app are great.

You might also be interested in the arrival and departure of ships at New Zealand’s ports:

North Port (Marsden Point)
Ports of Auckland
Port of Tauranga
Port Nelson
Napier Port
Centre Port (Wellington)
Port Taranaki
Lyttleton
Port Otago
South Port (Bluff)

 

Maps show how transport shrinks the world

 

New Scientist has published some beautiful maps exploring which are the remotest places on earth – given how much international transport we have available to us.

“The maps are based on a model which calculated how long it would take to travel to the nearest city of 50,000 or more people by land or water. The model combines information on terrain and access to road, rail and river networks. It also considers how factors like altitude, steepness of terrain and hold-ups like border crossings slow travel.

Plotted onto a map, the results throw up surprises. First, less than 10% of the world’s land is more than 48 hours of ground-based travel from the nearest city. What’s more, many areas considered remote and inaccessible are not as far from civilisation as you might think. In the Amazon, for example, extensive river networks and an increasing number of roads mean that only 20% of the land is more than two days from a city – around the same proportion as Canada’s Quebec province.

This one shows roads around the world:

This one shows shipping routes:

And this one shows rivers:

More lovely maps here. H/T to Cliff Kuang at Fast Company.