Visualising Free Trade Agreements

A tool to make the complexity of the world’s trade agreements visible, accessible and understandable. 


The Bertelsmann Foundation requested a tool to enhance their research and consulting in the field of free trade.

Starting with a dataset published by the World Trade Insitute, the task was to concept, design and build a tool to access 789 trade agreements to help researchers, journalists and economist understand free trade.


Visualize all FTAs per year with an innovative chart and make them accessible with an interactive histogram.

As the first visualization for free trade agreements, the tool should focus on the historical evolution of FTAs over the past 66 years. An engaging data visualization presents how FTAs are connecting countries worldwide and intracontinental.

Awarded with the Design Award 2016 of the Federal Republic of Germany for it’s excellence in Communication Design.

A new aestetic and visual representation of FTAs between countries has been designed with a custom chart type called dendrogram using hierarchical edge bundling. 
The Making-Of-Story has been captured in a Medium article to share the gained knowledge. 


The Javascript, D3.js and CSS code has been published open source on Github.

The tool is optimzed for touch-enabled, tablet devices and also available as native iPad App thus it is always accessible offline. 
Features such as an export function is helping scientist, journalists or economists to render high resolution screenshots for their publications.


Used worldwide from the Bertelsmann Foundation to the New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

FTAVIS has become the standard source for researching in the field of free trade agreements and the data visualisations have been used in various (scientific) publications.