25 July 2008

My new map of the Voyage of the Beagle

Note: a more recent version of this map inset is available here.

I've never been particularly impressed with the online map resources for the 1831-1836 voyage of HMS Beagle. So a few months ago, I got it into my head to create a new map of the voyage, one that is not only accurate but visually appealing.

I started with NASA Earth Observatory's gorgeous "blue marble" image then filled in a spreadsheet of all Beagle's ports of call and lat/long data from Fitzroy's Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's ships Adventure and Beagle, then painstakingly traced the voyage step by step but putting the lat/long markers and place names (many of which required extensive translation) into Google maps (which I'll make public shortly), then transferred these markers to the blue marble and connected the dots.

I'm very nearly finished with the static map, and have plans to make it all shiny and interactive eventually. Here's a teaser... part of the South American portion of the voyage.

*closes eyes and puts creative baby out there for whole world to see*

7 comments:

Anna Faherty said...

Looks fantastic!

Michael D. Barton, FCD said...

I see a wonderful wall map coming out of this project!

Kevin Zelnio said...

Karen, you are a darwinian angel! This is going to be great. Don't forget to slap a creative commons license on it. The tip of South America is very visually appealing and modern. I particularly like the dotted foot path trails!

coturnix said...

Wow! This will be quite a resource, on top of being cool.

Richard Carter, FCD said...

Fantastic! I'd thought of doing something similar myself, but decided it would be a lot of work. Thank goodness not everyone is as lazy as me.

Richard Carter, FCD said...

You have simply got to make this into a T-shirt with the caption 'Charles Darwin World Tour, 1831-1836'.

Karen James said...

Thanks everyone for confirming that it wasn't an enormous waste of my time.

Kevin - Creative commons - yes, good, thanks for reminding me.