Monday 17 October 2011

Minard's Coal Exports as a Webmap

Recently, I was looking to make a simple but effective webmap on to illustrate the use of a new basemap. One of my former students, Chris Clarke did a great print version of Charles Minard's classic Coal Export map using ArcGIS and this seemed a good one to recreate. I had to do a bit of work on the data (amazing what a print map can hide eh Chris?) but here is my version, based on Chris' original data.

Widths of the figurative and approximate routes of coal movement represent approximately the amount of coal exports for that part of the route. The quantities are expressed in units of thousands of tons and are available via pop-ups for the figurative flow routes and destination ports.

The grand total for each segment of the route takes into account the amount of shipping days taken to reach the destination as the ships used to transport the coal are coal powered themselves. Thus, total quantities at the origin and destinations of a particular vessel will not match. The reduction in quantity may be as much as 700,000 tons. As such only exports of over 500,000 tons have been included in this map.

An excellent article describing the original 1890 map by Charles Minard can be found here.

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