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Book Sections Year : 2017

Geovisualizing the sail-to-steam transition through vessel movement data


Technological transitions in the maritime and port industries go along with increased transport and economic efficiency, resulting in faster movements and longer travelled distances. Yet, such transformations may also enhance disparities between winners and loosers, should they be ports or shipping companies. This research focuses on the particular case of the transition from sail to steam over the period 1890-1925, which witnesses the rapid replacement of sailing vessels, the latter concentrating 65% of the world fleet in 1890 but only 3.5% in 1925. It applies a variety of measures to compare how these two layers overlap in the network (at links and ports) and what is their respective architecture in terms of cargo concentration, geographic distribution, and topological structure. Main results show very distinct patterns and evolutions affecting each fleet and its movements across the globe. Steam shipping, more recent and booming, appears to be more concentrated and hierarchically organized than sail shipping, while the two layers are less and less overlapped in space as the second replaces the first.
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Dates and versions

hal-01623631 , version 1 (13-10-2017)
hal-01623631 , version 2 (12-11-2021)


  • HAL Id : hal-01623631 , version 2


Mattia Bunel, F. Bahoken, César Ducruet, Claire Lagesse, Bruno Marnot, et al.. Geovisualizing the sail-to-steam transition through vessel movement data. Ducruet C. Advances in Shipping Data Analysis and Modeling. Tracking and Mapping Maritime Flows in the Age of Big Data, Routledge, pp.189-205, 2017, Routledge Studies in Transport Analysis, 9781138280939. ⟨hal-01623631v2⟩
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