Internet-Based Geographic Information System (GIS) of Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Commodity Networks


ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships


Geography and Anthropology


This project initiates an Internet-based GIS of nineteenth-century Atlantic commodity networks. Data come from logbooks of vessels and include daily position, cargo, and crew information. All data are in hand, derived from previous archival work and the public-domain CLIWOC database (Climatological Database for the World’s Oceans). In contrast to existing databases such as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, which emphasize temporal analysis, the use of a GIS that associates every data point with a geographic location allows users to employ web browsers to spatially analyze and visualize the routes of voyages (rather than only embarkation and disembarkation ports); maritime literature related to routes; volumes of trade by route and season; and other information.