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Monday, April 29, 2013

Trade Atlas

From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge comes a fascinating online atlas that has no maps in the traditional sense. The Observatory of Economic Complexity is a model of all the world's imports and exports. The scale of the map represents the percentage of trade in any given category. The legend includes shading by type of export -- food, transportation, medical, and so on -- or by region of the world for some of the charts.

Users of the chart can examine the trade between any two countries, or between a single country and the entire world. Warning: this is so interesting that it can be habit-forming!

The atlas does not include three very important ways that money can flow between countries, some of which can be important in certain cases. It does not include tourism, donations of aid, or remittances (which are funds sent by migrants working in another country back to their families at home).

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