iSchool Capstone

Arctic Data Explorer

Project tags:

content & digital asset management

data curation

mobile or web development

Project poster

The data captured in historic ships' logbooks represent one of the world's deepest untapped reservoirs of meteorological, historical, and environmental information. Logbooks from nineteenth-century Arctic exploring vessels, with their meticulous recordings of weather, sea ice extent, and species range, can support climate reanalysis models and provide a biogeographic and historical atlas of the Arctic past. Since 2012, citizen scientists at Old Weather ( have transcribed more than 100,000 scanned logbook pages from historic Arctic ships. In order to make this data discoverable and accessible, we built and populated an information structure for Old Weather's data—weather observations, ship positions, daily narratives, and associated manuscripts—and designed a pilot interface for exploration and display. For the first time, both researchers and the public have access to logbook scans, data, transcriptions, links to related materials, and full documentation of sources.

Project participants:

Christopher Setzer


Amy Trost