Manifest is an investigative toolkit intended for researchers, journalists, students, and scholars interested in visualizing, analyzing, and documenting supply chains, production lines, and trade networks.
Professional logistics platforms developed by companies like SAP, Oracle, and IBM are incredibly complex, suited to global networks with hundreds of suppliers in dozens of countries. These systems interface with numerous data sources, with powerful capabilities for controlling the world's material distribution in the name of "supply chain management." Manifest is not one of these. Similarly, there are many tools available for detailed statistical evaluation, graph analysis, and geospatial modeling. And while Manifest can work in concert with these tools, its primary purpose is to:
The result is (hopefully) a system that is more flexible--someone using Manifest might find it valuable to map very high level connection, or to include "materials" not normally present in an industrial logistics platform. In pursuit of these goals, Manifest has been developed with a number of core design principles:
For some reflections on the origins of Manifest, please read this brief essay, Manifest / Manifesto: Toward Supply Chain Reconciliation, on Supply Studies. For updates, sign up for the Supply Studies mailing list. Manifest is provided free for noncommercial use, if you'd like to talk about something else, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
The project is supported by Fordham University's Office of Research and Department of Communication and Media Studies. It was previously supported by the Media, Culture, and Communication department of New York University. It is based on technologies originally developed as part of the Sourcemap project, which was created at the MIT Media Lab in 2007 as a collaboration between the MIT Center for Civic Media and the Tangible Media Group.
Contributors: Matthew Hockenberry, Christian Kyle Madlansacay, Kimberly Ternan.