A song of ice and oil: The 21st Century Arctic Battle

Country/area: Taiwan

Organisation: The News Lens

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 12/11/2021

Credit: By If Lin, Steven Yeo, Yan Xiang Huang, Louis Lo, Sid Weng, Avery Hsu ; Review editor: Mario Yang


TNL Media Group has become the go-to partner for multinational brands to obtain content, market research, advertising, first-party data, and access to Millennial and Gen Z customers across Asia.

Project description:

In recent years, global climate change has increased the ice melt area in the Arctic region. As a result, the shipping lanes and potential natural resources have become the arena of competition among major powers. The United States, Russia, and other countries near the Arctic have started strategic deployment in the Arctic, becoming the focus of international competition in the future. Therefore, we use digital storytelling to present data and geo-relationship more clearly.

Impact reached:

Taiwanese media has not paid much attention to covering the Arctic stories. This project is the first complete coverage of the Arctic issue using digital storytelling in Taiwan.

Besides climate change, the Arctic issue is also strongly linked to energy, transportation, trade, and economic matters. The United States, Russia, and even China are actively expanding their influence in the Arctic.

In addition, among East Asian countries, Japan and South Korea are also actively developing Arctic strategies. With a similar economic and trade environment to Taiwan, Singapore is also not absent. Singapore became an observer of the Arctic Council in 2013, wishing to positively impact its core interests, such as ocean management, international shipping, and maritime legal regimes. With this project, we wish to bring an open and forward view of international politics to readers in Taiwan.

Techniques/technologies used:

We use QGIS to build the base map and create special effects using Adobe illustrator. Next, the route simulation is made with D3.js and controlling animation. Finally, we use Svelte to build the web page’s wireframe and micro-interaction.

What was the hardest part of this project?

The most challenging part is to decide how to present the map. The Arctic route issues include several oceans and countries. To give readers a clear view, we need to carefully design the angle of each map, as well as the shape of the inland and ocean, and label the names of the countries and oceans clearly.

What can others learn from this project?

The Arctic route issue involves not a single regional scale but a global geographical scale. Therefore, using a global map with interactive techniques can better help readers understand the whole picture and create more fun reading it.

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