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Sustaining the Empire Interactive Maps

Between 1793 and 1815 the Navy had to undertake an almost world-wide distribution of provisions for the crews of naval ships. Hired merchant ships transported cargoes of food to and from the West Indies, the Cape, Canada, India and further east. Most of all very large numbers of warships in the waters around Britain had to be supplied. This world map forms a key to four other maps which show which primary foodstuffs and processed provisions were transported to which destinations.

The Sustaining the Empire website on a desktop computer.
  • At the beginning, the interactive map reveals all traffic of any good from and to any destinations, in order to give an idea of the scale of the operations.

    Key world map of food traffic.
  • Maps may be filtered to focus, say, on the transport of barley...

    Traffic map of barley and beer in the UK.
  • ... or that of animals. Other options include cheese and meat.

    Traffic map of live animals and salted meat in the UK.
  • The map can also display a geographical context - such as departures to the tropics.

    Traffic map of food from the Mediterranean and the tropics.
  • All contexts covered by the expeditions are represented, like, in this case, the Atlantic Ocean...

    Traffic map of food in the Atlantic.
  • ... or the Indian sub-continent.

    Traffic map of food in India.

Other works