Featured picture of post "Wilhelmsen Keeps Global Shipping Moving with an Interactive Map"

Wilhelmsen Keeps Global Shipping Moving with an Interactive Map

Louise Jones

Wilhelmsen is a global maritime industry group, employing more than 21,000 people across 75 nations. The Wilhelmsen group operates the largest maritime network in the world, with over 2200 locations. 

The challenge

In 2020, Covid-19 created multiple issues for the shipping industry around the world. One of the key issues was the range of different restrictions in place at ports across the globe, and the fact that they were changing and evolving daily. Wilhelmsen therefore wanted to ensure that a large volume of up-to-date information was easily accessible to their employees, accurately detailing specific restrictions at key global ports. 

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The updates had to happen efficiently and quickly. This information had to be presented in a visually engaging format that allowed viewers to access the most relevant information whenever they needed it, 24 hours a day. In order to solve these problems, Wilhelmsen turned to ThingLink and created an Interactive Global Port Restrictions Map which was used for as long as Covid restrictions remained anywhere in any port worldwide.

Explore the live interactive map below


Making huge data accessible in a single visual experience

As you can see in the world map above, there are over 50 ThingLink hotspots, each in their appropriate geographic location.  Each hotspot includes information on a specific port and information such as, “Are there any restrictions on vessels whose previous port call was from COVID high risk countries?”.  For example, in the clip below, a click on the United States tag unlocks all of the current and up-to-date key information on U.S. ports. 


Easy data visualization with a clear map legend

Wilhelmsen created a legend that gives viewers a visual indication as to which countries have been updated in the last 24 hours (appearing as yellow icons), or locations which do not allow crew change (appearing as red icons).  While ThingLink provides several hundred preloaded icons, you can also upload custom icons to achieve a certain design or visual cue to your audience, or to match the brand colors of your organization. This further speeds up learning and processing information for Wilhelmsen employees.

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Clicking on the blue plus sign icons located in Central America, Africa, Middle East or China will take viewers into a zoomed in custom map view of these regions.  This improves the end experience for viewers and prevents overcrowding of icons in regions with very consolidated countries. Viewers can navigate back to the original map by clicking the back button on the top left corner, or the related scenes view on the bottom right corner. Combining multiple pieces of interactive media into one experience is a key feature of ThingLink and allows for deeper visual communication.  Here we have five ThingLinks combined into one global map. 


Creating, sharing and updating saves time for marketers

Creating and sharing ThingLinks can be accomplished in minutes and requires no advanced computer skills. If you can make a Powerpoint, you can make a ThingLink, and you can become an interactive map creator. ThingLinks can be updated constantly and you don’t have to re-embed one each time an update is made. Simply share once with an embed code, and your map will be updated wherever it’s embedded, whenever you make an update.

This greatly speeds up the creation process and eliminates the need for marketers to have to involve developers to make updates, saving everyone time and resources. In this interactive map, each tag indicates when it was last updated, ensuring that users are accessing the most up-to-date information.   

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Community involvement, live updates and chat support

What sets this interactive map style apart from most others is that they further engage their viewers with three unique tags at the top of the map.

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First, we see a slideshow appear when clicking “Not all heroes wear capes” which provides tribute and thanks to ALL ship agents around the world. 


Second, the viewer is taken to a page that allows them to subscribe to #PortNews for daily updates on Coronavirus.

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Ask for help via the interactive map

Finally, Wilhelmsen embeds a Zendesk live chat that connects anyone with a support specialist real time to answer questions. You can embed any media on the web into a ThingLink tag, including videos, slideshows, 3D models, Google Maps or Google sheets, polls, quizzes and more.


Interactive maps solve global logistics challenges

In conclusion, Wilhelmsen effectively leveraged ThingLink to create their own custom map that solved several new communication problems relating to Covid-19 and the impact it had in the maritime industry. Variations of this use case can be used by any organization or government agency to solve problems they are facing in global communication, commerce or transportation.

How to make your own maps instantly interactive with ThingLink

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Until now, creators required a 360 camera to capture photospheres of any given location. With the 2023 launch of Pano to 360 by ThingLink, anyone can instantly convert a panoramic photo taken on any mobile device into a fully 360 image. No ThingLink account required, and it’s completely free.

Try Pano to 360 for yourself

To convert your panoramic photos to 360 images instantly, click on the link below!

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