Sales Map

eBay DataLabs, 2016
Area Mobility Trade and economy Medium Information Visualization Type Research

Smartphones represent a high bar in economic development and personal empowerment. None more than Apple's iconic iPhone. Connectivity to the internet through rich mobile devices, such as the iPhone, enables people to trade goods, services, and ideas faster and more freely than ever. Data from online marketplace eBay shows the universal demand for that technology. Consider this: in the 90 days after the iPhone 6S launch, iPhone 6 captured more than 1% of ?eBay imports? among 10 developing economies - 7 of them in Africa. The device took 4% of imports to Georgia, neighboring Russia. Those national statistics, however, obscure the vivid trade within and between global cities. eBay DataLabs' research scientist Jinrong Xie developed Sales Map to animate how goods - in this case, iPhones - change hands globally from point-to-point. Sales Map - and the linked Vimeo video for Habitat III - shows the connection between eBay buyers and sellers as iPhones are traded on eBay in 2016. Sales Colors represent the condition of the traded good: red signals "new" items, yellow signals ?used?, and blue ?refurbished?. Cities emerge organically from patterns in this data. The brightest spots signal vibrant exchanges in advanced technology.



  • Xie, Jinrong eBay
  • Gardner, Matt eBay
  • Anderson, Eric eBay