Project description

This special four-chapter feature explores a little-known period in history when Spanish mariners discovered the return route to the Americas from Asia through the Pacific Ocean almost five centuries ago. The event triggered a regular trade route that ushered in the beginning of globalisation.

• The discovery of the roundtrip and the beginning of globalisation
Chapter one looks at how this route was established following the first circumnavigation by Magellan and Elcano.

• Galleon of China: flagship of trade over two centuries
The second chapter explores one of the most important aspects of the route: how the sailors could survive eight months at sea

• A journey of dread
Chapter three is a dramatization of the dangerous journey back, known as \”tornaviaje\” and is inspired by the diaries of Francesco Gemelli, an eighteenth century traveller who experienced an eight month journey crossing the Pacific.

• How silver changed the world
The final chapter is about the use of silver to establish trade and demonstrates how the impact the precious metal had on the world continues to influence the world today.

What makes this project innovative?

This project broadcast historical facts that have influenced the development of Asia and the world in general largely ignored in the popular historical narrative. The publication of a series of illustrated digital infographics published in separate chapters, together with a condensed double-page spread printed in the South China Morning Post newspaper on special paper was innovative.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

Scholars and professors from different universities were excited by the published project and Spanish diplomats in Hong Kong and Mexico requested high-quality proofs to frame for their consulates.

Source and methodology

Sources used come through interviews with the writers Juan José Morales and Peter Gordon, both popularizers of this particular story and their book "The Silver Way". Likewise the book "The Manila-Acapulco Galleons: The Treasure Ships of the Pacific "by Shirley Fish, other sources are nautical books of the time such that" The Book of Practical Knowledge: Nautical Instruction "(1587), Diego Garcia de Palacio (1587)," A voyage round the World "(1699), Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri," Events of the Philippines Islands "(1609), Antonio de Morga," Historic Ships Models ", Wolfram zu Mondfel

Technologies Used

Software: Adobe Creative cloud: Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects Corel Painter Brackets IO QGIS Programming languages: Javascript JQuery HTML CSS

Project members

Adolfo Arranz Marco Hernandez Darren Long


Additional links


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