Sourcemap: visualizing supply-chains for the goods in our lives

Sourcemap shows supply-chain maps that reveal all the places in the world that feed into the common goods we consume in our lives. The service's about page implies that the supply-chain data comes from companies themselves, but there's a lot of what seem to be user-generated maps like this complex map labelled "Laptop Computer". It's a tantalizing set of maps, but I wish there was more information on the data-sources that went into each map.

On the other hand, I'm loving this reconstruction of Western Electric's 1927 telephone manufacturing supply chain by Matthew Hockenberry, who added this information: "This is a reconstruction of the supply chain for the Western Electric produced 'candlestick' style telephones of the late 1920s. Information is largely drawn from archival Western Electric/AT&T materials, as well as those of supplier companies. Some imagery is currently included for cotton and copper sources. This is a rough draft - many details are missing or incomplete."

Sourcemap: where things come from


  1. Yeah, well… If today’s announcement by Planetary Resources works out, we’ll need bigger maps.

    1. Heh, after looking into the back story of Gundam i found myself pondering how much space there is in, well, space. That is, i tried to calculate the approximate area available between the Sun and Pluto’s orbit.

      1. Since it is space, and not just the available amount on the surface of a spheroid, it’d be volume.

        1. True, but i wanted to keep it simple for myself. And most orbits are on approximately the same “plane”, no?

          1. True.  If we’re talking orbits, you now have the grand daddy of all traffic problems, trying to keep all those buggers rotating without collision.

  2. Why do they have to use a Mercator projection for this? Why? It’s just not an appropriate projection for a flow map.

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