Sunset On The BOT (British Overseas Territories)

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    • python
    • cartopy
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I am an avid reader of the What If? blog and one blog post that recently interested me greatly was the Sunset on the British Empire. During the 1980’s and 1990’s as series of laws were passed in the United Kingdom and many of the remaining British Colonies that marked the end of the British Empire. Whilst the British Empire did not ever formally end, the handover of Hong Kong back to China in 1997 is often regarded as the de facto end of the British Empire. There are a few paragraphs discussing these events in the "End Of Empire" section of the Wikipedia British Empire article.

If the approximation is made that the BOT (British Overseas Territories) are analogous to the British Empire then it is possible to calculate if the sun ever sets on them. I decided to write a Python module to check the workings of the original blog post: BOTS (British Overseas Territories Sunsets). The module provides a wrapper function that first: identifies all of the BOT for the convenience of the user (as demonstrated for the Falkland Islands below); and second: plots the daylight hours for each BOT so that their overlap can be determined (as also demonstrated below).

Map of the Falkland Islands
Map of the Falkland Islands
Plot of the daylight hours of the BOT
Plot of the daylight hours of the BOT

As an aside, there is a very interesting BBC Four documentary series about the islands, Britain’s Treasure Islands, which I recommend that you catch next time it is repeated on the BBC iPlayer. I think that there are quite a few interesting observations to be made about the above plot: