'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Cumbrian Shipping News

Back in the 18th and 19th Centuries the ports of West Cumbria were among the busiest in the world, famously exporting more coal than anywhere but Liverpool (& slave-trading too, of course). According to local tradition the street-grid of Manhattan was based on the planned town of Whitehaven. For a few exciting decades West Cumbria must have seemed to be at the centre of the world.
Which makes this fabulous interactive map of the Irish Sea as fascinating as it is melancholy. Essentially a splicing of Google Earth with GPS data from the transponders of merchant shipping, it shows a near-real-time update of shipping movements in the northern Irish Sea. A moment's glance shows that the Solway Firth is, literally, a backwater. All the action's in Liverpool and Belfast. Except for one boat that at the time of writing seems to have sailed into the Pennines - presumably up the wrong end of the Manchester Ship Canal.
Hat-tip to The Yorkshire Ranter for drawing my attention to this excellent toy.


Blogger Piers said...

Very cool.

10/7/06 10:25 am  
Anonymous Dr John said...

Wonderful to see 2 ships in the ship canal. I thought it was just used to send Manchester's sewage to Liverpool these days

11/7/06 12:34 pm  

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