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Uncovering the Secrets of Colonial Maritime Expansion

The Library of Congress has done it again! This time, they've launched an incredible new interactive map that lets you explore the fascinating Climatological Database for the World's Oceans (CLIWOC).

Containing digitised ship logbook entries from 1750 to 1850, this database provides a comprehensive view of the colonial maritime expansion and detailed climatological recordings for that period in history. And thanks to the hard work of a talented programmer, the CLIWOC database is now available in more manageable formats, such as OpenOffice spreadsheets, tab-delimited text files, and Geopackage formats, making it easier for researchers to access and study.

Climatological Database for the World's Oceans, 1750-1850
Climatological Database for the World's Oceans, 1750-1850

One great feature of the CLIWOC interactive map is the ability to explore the data by ship nationality. With just a few clicks, you can separate logbook entries by British, Dutch, French, and Spanish nationality, revealing fascinating patterns in imperial expansion and global trade.

You can even explore the voyages of the Atlantic Slave Trade and discover patterns specific to European colonial possessions, such as Spanish ships sailing to Mexico. The British ships associated with the Hudson Bay Company voyaging north into present-day Canada and even the first sailing ships that visited us here in New Zealand and Australia. But the CLIWOC database isn't just fascinating for students of maritime history. Climate researchers can also benefit from the observations contained within thousands of logbooks, which can help recreate a picture of the climate of those times. And with an engaging, user-friendly view of a hundred years of European maritime travel, the CLIWOC interactive map is sure to delight anyone with an interest in history.

So why wait? Head over to the Library of Congress website today and start exploring the incredible CLIWOC database for yourself. Who knows what fascinating insights you might discover about the climatological and maritime history of the 18th and 19th centuries through the lens of European ship logbooks? Check out the map here.

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