About the map
Featuring over 50 voyages, this interactive map illustrates a selection of well-known, or influential voyages that took place between the late-fifteenth and early twentieth centuries. These voyages focus on European maritime exploration and they follow a great number of different sea-routes, some travelling across vast oceans for a period of years; while others focus on exploring specific regions. The purposes for these voyages include empire-building and ‘discovery’, science, trade, and search and rescue attempts.
The voyages represented are by no means exhaustive but are intended to be used as a starting point for learning about some of the most well-known expeditions in the history of exploration.
To begin, press the Play all button and let the map play through all voyages plotted on the Global View, or drag the timeline to a start date that interests you and the map will play from there.
Alternatively, browse through the voyage list and select a specific voyage by clicking on the play button for that voyage; this will play that voyage in isolation.
Click on the voyage title, or on the coloured route while the map is playing to see background information on the voyage, as well as an interactive list of ports stopped at throughout the voyage and to link back to a relevant document from the collection.
You can return to the globe by clicking on the Global View button.
Colour-coded by nationality of the sponsor country, it is possible to makes comparisons between expeditions from different countries.
Use the filter search to find a specific nationality, or filter by Commander so you can more easily find specific people involved with each expedition.
The images in this site are © the source archives within this collection.
About the data
This data has been compiled using the primary source documents from Age of Exploration, as well as research carried out by our editorial team in collaboration with, and with feedback from, our academic editorial board.
Where dates are uncertain, we have highlighted these as ‘approximate’. It is possible to download the data as a csv file should you wish to further interrogate the data. Click ‘Download data’ to do so.