Plantation in Mato Grasso Do Sul. Photo by maurosegura.

Data design to inspire forest-friendly supply chains.

New data offers more opportunities to improve the sustainability of our global commodity supply chains.

Camellia Williams
Dec 13, 2018 · 3 min read

There’s a big batch of new data on trase.earth. It’s a whole new level of transparency for global supply chains.

New countries. New commodities. New sustainability indicators. Revealing the links between the export of everyday products like coffee and soy, and the environmental and social risks associated with their production, trase is creating opportunities to improve the sustainability of how agricultural commodities are produced, traded and consumed.

With so much data to explore, it could be a little overwhelming for first time visitors. But with some careful design choices, we’re easing people in and guiding them around the beautiful map and sankey diagram that forms the heart of trase. Now it’s really simple to see which country is the top destination for Colombian coffee or which company exports the most Peruvian cocoa. (And in case you are wondering, the answers are the United States and Machu Picchu Coffee Trading S.A.C. respectively).

The introduction to the new data begins with a simple map-based overview that lists the top sourcing countries and top exporting countries of each commodity. It’s extremely satisfying to look at the visualisation and instantly learn which countries import the most Colombian coffee, and we hope it will inspire people to continue exploring.

A simple map and list reveals the top exporting countries and top sourcing countries for each of the commodities featured on trase.

Those who want to dive deeper into the data can use the sankey diagram to follow the flow of commodities from port to port. Sub-national data is available for Brazil and Paraguay, providing unprecedented insight into where the production of soy is linked to deforestation. Recognising the uniqueness and importance of this subnational data, we separated it from the national datasets in the menu. But that’s not to say that the national data isn’t important. It still provides critical insights on market share and changing trade dynamics.

Explore soy data at the municipal level in Brazil.

A lot of work went on behind the scenes to add the new data and ensure the data visualisations work quickly and smoothly. Although these updates aren’t obvious on the surface, it means the platform is ready for more data whenever they become available. It also means we can continue adding new features that inform, delight, and inspire action that leads to more environmentally sustainable supply chains.

Visit trase.earth today and see for yourself which areas of Latin America and Indonesia are at risk of deforestation, and where opportunities exist for improving the sustainability of our global commodity supply chains.

Camellia Williams

Written by

Lead Writer at Vizzuality.

Vizzuality Blog

Posts on data design, user research, open data, and software development. We create tools and applications with a lasting benefit to society and the environment.

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