Manifest is a digital humanities platform and investigative toolkit for visualizing, analyzing, and documenting historic and contemporary supply chains, production lines, and trade networks. Intended for scholars and researchers exploring the history of assembly and distribution logistics in commodity manufacture and other forms of production, Manifest provides common data standards for supply chain description while offering an attractive publishing capability for spatial narratives that leverage geographic and statistical means of evaluation. Logistics, Alberto Toscano has written, should be thought, “not just as the site of interruption, but as the stake of enduring and articulated struggles.” In this way, the means through which we articulate that struggle endure only so long as we are able to both catalogue and critique the reach of the global apparatus of production, its contemporary conditions, and its material history.

Supported by the Media, Culture, and Communication department of New York University, Manifest is based on technologies originally developed as part of the Sourcemap project. Created at the MIT Media Lab in 2007 as a collaboration between the MIT Center for Civic Media and the Tangible Media Group, Sourcemap was designed to enable the dissemination of open supply chains and support the evaluation of their social and environmental impacts.

Necessary data sets and code repositories for Manifest, as well as supporting tools, are made available under open source licenses and released on Github.

A demo of a sample Manifest view is also available.

{"supplychain": {
  "title":"Candlestick Telephone Western Electric 1927", 
  "tags":["historic", "telephone", "western electric", "at&t", "phone"],
  "description":"This is a reconstruction of the supply chain for the Western Electric telephones drawn from archival sources",

    {"id":1, "attributes":{"title":"Telephone","location":"Cicero, IL, USA","description":"Western Electric's Hawthorne Works was the manufacturing facility responsible for production throughout the early 1900s."}},
    {"id":2, "attributes":{"title":"Iron (Hematite)","location":"Two Harbors, MN, USA","description":"Two Harbors is one of the early mining ports of Lake Superior. Significant iron reserves from the region were utilized in the construction of the telephone."}},
    {"id":3, "attributes":{"title":"Iron (Hematite)","location":"Hibbing, MN, USA", "description":"The Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine in Hibbing, Minnesota. One of the largest open pit iron mines in the world, iron for the telephone was gathered throughout the mississippi basin."}}