Monday, May 15, 2017

One Belt, One Road, Lots of Maps

Diplomats from countries around the world were in China over the weekend. Most of them were desperate to claim a share of the billions of dollars China plans to invest in its Belt and Road projects. China's ambitious One Belt, One Road strategy plans to connect Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa with a huge transport and oil & gas pipeline network.

An interactive map on Fortune magazine's website shows some of the rail, oil & gas pipelines and maritime connections that China has already constructed or plans to build. In effect this is just a static map which has been made interactive using Leaflet.js. However the map does show the scale of China's ambitious infrastructure plans. It also has a few markers where Fortune have provided a bit more detail on some of the more interesting projects under development.

The Fortune map was created using information from the Mercator Institute for China Studies. The Mercator Institute''s own map provides a more detailed overview of China's Planned Global Infrastructure Network. The map shows built and planned rail lines, oil & gas pipelines and ports with Chinese engagements.

In One Belt, One Road the Financial Times also explores some of the construction projects being created by China to transport people and goods around the world.

The map uses the Mapbox GL story map template to scroll and pan a map of the region to show some of the various railway lines, roads and gas pipelines that have already been constructed or are in the process of being built. These construction projects include gas pipelines between China and Central Asia, the China to Pakistan highway and new high speed railways throughout the region.

Back in 2013 the New York Times created its own story map template to take you on a journey along one of China's newly constructed railway lines, following the route of the old Silk Road.

Riding the New Silk Road follows the modern train route using a vertical scrolling map. The map is illustrated with photos and videos from one section of the modern route. As you scroll down the page you travel south along a strip map of the route. Animated polylines connect important locations on the route to the illustrative media in the map sidebar.

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