Navigation was vital for the sake of the expedition in more ways than one. Latitude and Longitude coordinates were recorded at every stop, which allowed the expedition to construct remarkably accurate maps, traverse great distances, and keep their bearings. When it failed as it did on the return trip from the Arctic Coast, the consequences were catastrophic.
This Google Map aggregates several distinct datasets that were researched for this commemorative project from Franklin and Back’s journals:
- 4 layers that track Franklin’s journey by location and date,
- 3 layers that describe the provenance of place names given either during the course of the expedition or in honour of its participants (two layers are drawn from work done at the PWNHC, while the British place names layer is new), and
- an additional layer that outlines the most probable course of the Franklin’s journey from England in May 1819, to Point Turnagain in August 1821, and back to Fort Enterprise in October 1821.
You can open the map in a new browser page by clicking on the icon at the top right of the map.
Please note that this data will be dynamically updated over time, and corrections are welcome!
Franklin’s original maps from his published journal can be found here: