Digital Seafaring

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Digital Seafaring aims to become a platform of applications that will offer the opportunity to users to explore the realities of the Seafaring Lives in the past through an interactive as well as an educative way. These applications include: 

1. Digital Reconstruction:

  • Ship Voyages

This application aim to reconstruct the voyages of selected sailing or steam ships based on their logbook, projecting the resulting data onto a web G.I.S. viewer. This viewer will allow researchers and the public to trace the paths of these ships day by day through their historical voyages, spoting the geographical position of the ship on a daily basis but, further, the day-to-day events and occurrences and the weather conditions described in the logbook. Τhe goal of these reconstructions is to bring these forgotten journeys vividly back to life for researchers and the public alike and to enhance our knowledge about the conditions in which they occurred.

  • Ship chandlers network

This reconstruction brings into light a neglected, but fundamental aspect of shipping, that of the supplying of the ships. Ship chandlers were and still are a sine qua non component of the mechanism of shipping activity and of the voyage of the ship. These specialized merchants in the ports supplied food, equipment and other maritime stores to ships across the globe. The detailed material provided by the rich archival sources regarding the Greek cargo steamer George M Empiricos (1903-1916) enables us to reconstruct the full network of the ship chandlers, which supplied the ship in the routes across the seas during her work life. 

2. Digital Game

The game, is an entertaining and educational journey into the world of maritime history and the lives of Mediterranean seafarers during the long nineteenth century (1789-1914). In the game, ships, sailors, commodities and markets, all fundamental components of shipping, are subject to the wider economic, technological, political, diplomatic and military events, changes, trends and conjunctures of this period. Players take on the role of shipowners and must develop their business, upgrade their means of production, namely the ships, and adapt their strategies to the changing circumstances caused by external factors. While playing the game, players explore the universe of maritime trade, and get a feel for its mechanisms, its protagonists and its historical evolution in an interactive and creative way.
While jostling with other players for dominance in the shipping world, the player of the game, will learn more about:

  • important historical events that affected shipping e.g. the Crimean War (1853-1856) or the abolition of Navigation Laws (1849).  
  • the major technical improvements that influenced the progress of maritime transport e.g. the invention of the compound marine engine (1856).
  • the geography of ports, other significant places and of the trade routes across the globe.
  • the important commodities (e.g. cereals, coal) that dominated in the domestic and international markets.
  • the mechanisms of shipping and trade that moved the maritime industries.

3. Photo Gallery

Photographic material represents an important type of historical source. In the SeaLiT project, the thematic gallery has as an aim to introduce various aspects of seafaring life of the Mediterranean people and places to the academic as well as to the greater public. Ports, ships, sailors, working places, shore base activities, specialized workers, infrastructures and landscapes, all complement our knowledge as well as they enhance our visual understanding of the history of seafaring lives.