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The Digital Agency for International Development

TradeMapper – Interactive Map

An interactive map to visualise international trade-flow data developed for WWF TRAFFIC to track illegal wildlife and wildlife products

Nov 2014



Illegal wildlife trade is a major threat to many endangered species. Wildlife conservationists and scientists use large volumes of data to monitor this continuously evolving trade. TradeMapper lets them condense this data, and present it clearly and interactively to track and measure the spatial movement of illegal wildlife products and determine what factors influences the trade. It is an open-source interactive browser-based tool that represents current and historical geographical trade trends (in illegal wildlife, or anything for which you have data) visually, as opposed to dry numerical data.

Read our series of blogs on TradeMapper's development.



We worked with Willow Outhwaite from TRAFFIC and Paul Roberts from WWF. Willow was enthusiastic about Aptivate’s approach as “Aptivate offered excellent advice throughout and were incredibly patient, and I never felt pressurized…it was fantastic to be able to adapt to make sure that the end result was a useful, well-designed product”. TradeMapper will be used by scientists and conservationists to help them understand patterns of the illegal wildlife trade so that they can better develop solutions.



Willow Outhwaite was a great product owner for the project. We worked together to develop an original concept for TradeMapper and she was dedicated to making the idea a reality. Aptivate worked closely with Willow to follow her priorities as they evolved throughout the process. We also designed trade flows as lines on a world map; wider lines show bigger quantities; and coloured dots show the role of countries along the route. You can zoom (scroll wheel) and pan (drag) the map, and filter the data by column values to get insights about what your data means.



TradeMapper used d3, a Javascript library which does visualisations using SVG. The code is open source and available on Github