Virtually Nao: Our Route So Far

Below you can see an interactive map of our progress. This map shows the flow of Internet data between the locations that the Nao Victoria originally laid anchor at approximately 486 years ago. We’ll be updating this as Virtually Nao makes its way around the globe on our digital expedition, so please keep checking in.

Anchors represent the locations from the original route of the Nao Victoria. Pins represent the deviations of Internet data. Click on the lines to see how far and how fast the data has travelled.

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30 Days

’30 Days’ by Rosamund Garrett, Adobe Illustrator

30 Days is a representation of Internet traffic from all of the cities that visited the Virtually Nao website over a period of one month. People from the named locations have logged on to the site, but where you can see a change in direction is the route that Internet data would take between the viewer and the location that I am writing from, which is Edinburgh. So if you are a return visitor to my website you could well be within this drawing, and it shows our connection to each other.

This information was gathered by performing a lot of trace routes. To see what a trace route is, see the Call for Volunteers page. I know that most artists don’t reveal how they make things, but I think that the process for this one was pretty interesting so here goes…

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Mapping the Internet

This map is based upon data from the Global Internet Geography research. It illustrates the key internet connections that link countries and the five major regions of the world. It is certainly a very different map to the one Magellan used to navigate Nao Victoria around the world!

This map was sourced from TeleGeography. To view their site click here.

Map My Tracks

Jon recently acquired a GPS logger so that we could track our kayaking trips, but I thought I would bully him into using it for the project, so here is our first test! We’re both from Canterbury in Kent, but I live in Edinburgh so above you can see an image of the flight we both regularly take from Kent International Airport to Edinburgh Airport.

Using Jon’s GPS logger with a web app called Map My Tracks we’re able to discover the average speed of the flight, the distance and elevation etc. The route is animated, so as you replay the route you can watch the figures such as altitude and speed change with the journey. To watch the route I recommend speeding up the play back (which you can do by changing the x1 at the bottom left to a higher figure).

It’s particularly interesting changing the window to satellite view and zooming in. When the plane reaches the airport you can watch the landing and even see which bay the plane parks in.

To see the Edinburgh – Kent Intl flight click here.
To see the Kent Intl – Edinburgh flight click here.

If you would like to map your own tracks you can buy a GPS logger. The one that we used is the i-GotU Bluetooth GPS Logger. You can use this in conjunction with Map My Tracks.


Submarine Cable Map

This map shows 121 of the world’s major submarine cable systems and 25 planned systems that are due to enter service by 2013. The particular things about this map that I find astonishing are the cables to the North Pole and the density of cables running through the Suez Canal.

Apparently the first transatlantic telegraph cable was laid in 1858, although due to the inadequate technology it was only in operation for a month. The first truly successful cable was laid in 1860 by the world’s largest steamship the SS Great Eastern.

This map was sourced form TeleGeography. To visit their website click here.

The Route by Commercial Airline II


Above is an image of the route by commercial airline. In the cases where more than one airline was used in one country, the most frequently used airliner is shown. Click on the image to see an enlarged version.

Image created using Adobe Illustrator by Rosamund Garrett

Where Two Paths Meet

‘Where Two Paths Meet: The Nao Victoria/Commercial Flight’ 2011 by Rosamund Garrett

This image demonstrates the respective paths taken by the Nao Victoria on the original journey between 1519 and 1522, and a possible contemporary route following the same key locations but travelling by commercial airline.