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CLIWOC Climate Data Visualization

This repository contains the code to analyze and visualize the Climatological Database for the World's Oceans (CLIWOC, wiki). This dataset contains ~300k transcribed logbooks from ships in the 1750 - 1850. The repo consists of node scripts for analyzing and building datasets and an electron app for visualizing the data.

Bound Lines

The Data

The CLIWOC dataset includes 287,114 records. Each record represents an individual log and has a number of possible associated variables - including wind direction, wind speed, air temperature, etc. They are listed in cliwoc 2_1.htm from here. For convenience, you can see a version hosted in this repo here.


Make sure you have node installed. Download the files, open a terminal in the repo folder and run:

npm install


All the tasks are controlled through npm scripts, so you can open up a terminal in the project and run:

  1. npm run start - this will start up the data visualization electron app using the files in public/.
  2. npm run build-ship-paths - this will parse the full dataset from cliwoc21.txt to a JSON file with just the ship's lat/lon information. This repo contains a version of that dataset already (./data/ship-paths.json), so you shouldn't need this script.
  3. npm run parse-database-structure - this will parse the full dataset from cliwoc21.txt to a JSON file with a subset of the possible variables. See (or modify) ./lib/build-all-records.js to manipulate which variables are selected.

Note: the full dataset is >2 gigs, so it is not included in this repository. If you want to run the latter two scripts, you'll need the full dataset. You can download that from here. You want to download, unzip it and copy cliwoc21.txt to the data folder in this repository.


Data visualization of 18th - 19th century ship logs






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