James Cheshire of Spatial Analysis has visualised British, Dutch and Spanish historical shipping records to produce maps of 18th Century trade paths.

This article titled “18th Century shipping mapped using 21st Century technology” was written by John Burn-Murdoch, for guardian.co.uk on Friday 13th April 2012 10.32 UTC

Last month we looked at an example of an old mapping style being applied to modern data. This time it’s the other way round. James Cheshire, of Spatial Analysis, has taken historical records of shipping routes between 1750 and 1800 and plotted them using modern mapping tools.

The first map, above, shows journeys made by British ships. Cross-Atlantic shipping lanes were among the busiest, but the number of vessels traveling to what was than called the East Indies – now India and South-East Asia – also stands out when compared to Dutch and Spanish records (see below).

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