This is a longer form explainer film created for the research-based investment management company Winton. The tracking of shipping routes is an oft-cited achievement of modern data science. But comparable data has been collected for centuries.

The shipping journalĀ Lloyd’s List has long offered a comprehensive overview of commercial maritime traffic between ports, with data stretching back as far as 1692. Another source of information is historical ship logs – records that reveal further details about the exact routes that vessels traversed, as well as prevailing winds and other weather patterns.

In order to complement these and many other datasets, Winton researchers have harvested Panama and Suez Canal reports to round out a full representation of international maritime commerce from the 19th century and beyond.

Art Direction and design by me, animation by Tom Maples, and produced by Breakfast of Champions.