Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Name: Source Map

Location: The Internet

Contributors: The Public

See Where Stuff Comes From with SourceMap: "Imagine a future in which pointing a PDA at a product bar code returns an instant readout of product source and environmental footprint to inform the buyer's decision. This future could be reality with SourceMap. Designed as a "collective tool for transparency and sustainability," SourceMap aims to be the Wiki of visualizing supply chains."

Sourcemap’s goals are to provide visible supply chains, social and environmental sustainability, and sustain business. We have a right to know more about the products and services we buy, including where they come from and what they are made of. Sourcemap is an open source project dedicated to tracking, documenting, and mapping where all of the components for our everyday goods come from. In short, it’s a supply chain publishing platform dedicated to transparency. Believing their program will allow for industrial productionto become environmentally and socially beneficia. Unfortunately, with the resources currently available to the public, it’s nearly impossible to find out how products and services impact the earth and society. Therefore, they are developing Sourcemap so that those who are interested can make informed, sustainable decisions at home and in the workplace. Yet, their main intention is for Sourcemap to help sustain business. Built as a diagnostic and marketing tool that helps to plan for and advertise a long-term outlook. Their website states that “After all, saving energy and materials saves money, and healthy communities become prosperous markets. Sourcemap provides an edge so you can respond to shifting supplies, communicate with customers, and plan for the future.”

Sourcemap is already a running website, yet it has not achieved their initial goals. This is how it works. It catalogues various materials from food to clothing, and their CO2 emissions. You can then use these statistics to map the total CO2 emissions or carbon footprint of the product. Functioning like a social network, anyone can contribute to the storyline of a products lifetime. For example, you can calculate the impact of manufacturing, transporting, using, and throwing away products using their Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) calculator. The website uses geographic resources and data while relying on user contributions and a panel of advisers to keep information up-to-date. They hope that as the site grows, suppliers will be able to contribute their products to the Sourcemap database, providing a geographic catalogue of materials and products for sale around the world.




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