Web-Based Visual Map Technology Reveals Once-Secret Trade Relationships

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Public records are bringing new insights about America's trade with the world to light. A startup from Arizona, ImportGenius.com, has harnessed public shipping records to identify the trading relationships between American companies and their suppliers overseas. The company's new "Visual Mapping" technology allows users to search for almost any U.S. company to visually navigate their complex web of suppliers and related companies.

"The new service gives you a visual representation of the product sources for almost any U.S. importer" - David Petersen, ImportGenius.com

For thousands of years, merchants have done whatever it takes to conceal their product sources. If a competitor found out, they could make it impossible to compete on price alone. Customers would simply buy direct from the source, cutting you out altogether.

Now an Arizona startup, ImportGenius.com, is making life difficult for those who would keep such secrets. The company harnesses data from public shipping records to reveal exactly where U.S. companies buy their products overseas.

The firm's popular web application helps importers identify the suppliers for their competitors and alerts them if other companies are trading with their own suppliers. Import Genius recently unveiled new "Visual Mapping" technology to give users a powerful new way of navigating the trade data to find trading connections for U.S. importers.    

By presenting users of its service with a "Visual Map" of any company's trade connections, Import Genius makes it incredibly simple to identify exactly where any company buys its products from overseas.

At its essence, the visual maps simply let Import Genius users search for any company, and then display a spider web of results, with the target company in the middle, and each of its suppliers shown as a connection on the map. The other American customers of those suppliers are also linked up on the map, making it easy to find valuable insights about the volumes of trade between any two companies.

"Our users have been asking for simpler ways to represent the data so they can more easily understand the entire universe of connected companies ," says Import Genius spokesperson David Petersen. "The Visual Mapping technology gives you a visual representation of the product sources for almost any U.S. importer, while also showing you who else buys from your own suppliers."

Import Genius's free demo lets you find all the suppliers of the now-bankrupt retail outlet, the Sharper Image. Their pitch: "Those suppliers are reeling after losing such a major customer. Now might be your chance to get a great deal."

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