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Note: This article is from Conservation Magazine, the precursor to Anthropocene Magazine. The full 14-year Conservation Magazine archive is now available here.

Where Stuff Comes From

September 7, 2012

The supply chain of a laptop computer

Sourcemap is an open-source Web tool that allows users to track the journey of a product from raw material to end use. Sourcemap inventor and CEO Leonardo Bonanni developed the platform to help companies communicate the supply chains, along with the carbon and water footprints, of their products to customers and also to help curious individuals investigate and visualize where things come from. Bonanni began developing the tool while a student at the MIT Media Lab; he launched the site in 2011 with the goal of making maps and calculating footprints easy for everyone. One of his first projects was to map the supply chain of his laptop computer. Through a combination of investigative journalism and reverse engineering, he generated the map shown below.

Sourcemap is an open-source tool, and its content is continually refined as users discover more current and complete information about products.The map shown here depicts the most accurate and up-to-date information that Bonanni has collected about the origins of a laptop’s raw materials.

Create maps and explore more supply chains at

Working in partnership with Sourcemap Inc, we’ll continue to feature more supply chains of everyday stuff in future issues.

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