Many of you have asked if I could name some software tools that can be used for drawing Sankey diagrams. So I am compiling a list of programs I have tested, or came across during my research. By no means do I wish to endorse any of these products, however, I do have a favorite, as some of the readers of this blog might have observed already.

I am grouping the list in (1) softwares that are specifically designed to make Sankey diagrams, (2) tools that support one specific type of Sankey or Sankey-style diagrams (this section also includes Matlab routines and open source), (3) software that are not available any more, and (4) other programs that do have Sankey as one of their features, but the main purpose for using the software is different. Time permitting I will do individual pages for the tools, and include my test notes and screenshots. The lists are sorted alphabetically.

This is a simple list. No warranty taken whatsoever for the software tools listed here. Download and install at your own risk. Contact the individual software makers for support, not me, please!

Please note: This list is to be understood as non-exhaustive! Do you know of any Sankey diagram software not listed here? Let me know

Full Sankey Desktop Software Tools

  • e!Sankey 4 (website)
    First released in November 2006, latest update version November 2015, a tool by German software firm ifu Hamburg. Version ‘pro’ with Excel interface. This is one of the tools I use for my work, see sample diagrams on this blog. License costs 240 €/480 € (pro). Free trial version.
  • S.DRAW 5.x (website)
    S.DRAW, originally developed by Austrian company STENUM is now being handled by JKMAS in the US and various distributors in Europe. A single license is 485 US$/405 €. Comes with a hardlock key (dongle). Update December 2010. A demo version is available.
  • Sankey Editor 2011 (website)
    A Sankey drawing software by an Austrian company named Stenum. First released in 2005 by LogSim (their website seems dead: website). Single license is 149 €. Demo version available.
  • Sankey Helper 2.4 (website)
    A freeware tool by Gabor Doka from Switzerland that allows to draw simple Sankey diagrams in Excel. It was one of the first software for Sankey diagrams available. Last updated in January 2010.

One specific type of Sankey-style diagrams, e.g. alluvial

  • iOS Sankey Diagram App (website)
    The first Sankey app for iOS, by SquishLogic LLC. Optimized for the iPad. Handles different diagrams, move nodes with gestures, set arrow colors. Left-to-right orientation of diagrams. Export as PNG or PDF. Connects to mail, Twitter, Facebook. Available for $9.99 at iTunes.
  • ParSets V2.1 (blog)
    A project by Robert Kosara, featured on eagereyes. Freeware for Mac, Windows and Linux. Can do top-down oriented bands, hooked to nodes (categories). Data can be imported from CSV file. Similar to Fineo.
  • Sankey Diagram Maker v1.08 (blog)
    New in 2012, a freeware tool provided by H.J. Berchmans, downloadable from Google Docs. .NET 4.0 must be installed on your machine. Users can draw simple left-to-right Sankey diagrams, choose colors. Make sure to read the comments…

Web-based, mostly building on open-source d3.js

  • eco-data.fr (webpage)
    eco-data.fr offers different types of online visualization tools, among which there is also a Sankey diagram. Based apparently on d3.js and the Sankey library the diagrams are built by defining nodes (‘noeuds’) and links (‘liens’). Dragging nodes horizontally or vertically keeps the arrows attached to the nodes. Your Sankey diagrams can be saved and reopened for modification. Enter values manually or loaded from a csv file.
  • Excel to Sankey (blog)
    Developed by Bruce McPherson based on work done by Mike Bostock this code uses d3.js to create left-to-right distribution diagrams over several categories/columns. An interactive version can be created that allows dragging the nodes within the columns.
  • Fineo (website)
    A project by Design Research Lab in Milano. An online tool that can represent relations between dimensions in horizontal bands. Data can be uploaded as tsv file. Similar to ParSets (see below). A comparison is here. Note that “Fineo is no longer supported by DensityDesign. The visual model is now part of our new tool, Raw: raw.densitydesign.org” (see below)
  • Google Charts / Sankey (webpage)
    The Google Charts available on the Google Developers page now include Sankey diagrams. Again, nodes and links to show a “many-to-many mapping” between two categories or multiple paths through a set of stages. Color options for nodes and bands.
  • Sankey Builder (Blog)
    Sankey Builder is another online tool for distribution diagrams built originally on d3.js. New features were added in January 2016. A free version is available, pricing scheme for commercial users available. An implementation can be seen on heatmap.ca
  • SankeyMATIC (webpage)
    An online tool by Steve Bogart. Users can enter their value sets in a list box, diagram will create automatically. Based on open source d3.js and its Sankey library.
  • Wikibudgets Sankey Web App (Website)
    A free web app focused on financial flows (budget, transfers) by wikibudgets.org. A novel approach for setting up the diagram since you hand pick the element shapes and just plug them together in the browser window.

For the geeks (Javascript, Python, R, Mathlab)

  • drawSankey (Wiki website)
    Developed by James Spelling and Germain Augsburger at EPFL in Lausanne. DrawSankey.m draws simple Sankey diagrams in Matlab (input, losses, output). Code available at Matlab Central.
  • jstepien’s Sankey (online)
    A very basic online tool to draw simple left-to-right b/w Sankey diagrams. You can enter a number of named nodes and define the edges with quantities. Didn’t get it to work, but you can see an example here. Download the sources from github.
  • Sankey (Sankey @ github)
    A Mathematica workbook by Sam Calisch that can be used to draw left-to-right distribution diagrams with several nodes ordered in columns. An example of the output can be seen here.
  • Sankey Diagrams in Python (matplotlib @ Sourceforge)
    ‘matplotlib’ is an open source project. Now has functionality to draw left-to-right oriented Sankey diagrams. Features available are labeling of flows, formatting of colors, fonts, borders, etc.
  • Sankey by tamc (tamc/Sankey @ github)
    Commenter Colm O’G suggested this javascript library for drawing sankey / flow diagrams in a browser to be added to the list, thanks. This seems to have been inspired by Fineo. An online implementation example can be seen on Andy Tow’s Atlas Electoral here.
  • SankeyR (blog post)
    An adaptation of the Matlab drawSankey function (see above) to work in R by Aaron Berdanier at Colorado State. Simple left to right Sankey diagrams. New release in July 2010.

Former Sankey diagram software: discontinued or fate is unclear

  • Sankey 3.1 (no website known)
    The fate of this tool is unknown. It was developed and distributed by Fichtner Consulting from Stuttgart, Germany in the late 1990ies. However, no information or screenshots can be found on the web.
  • Sankey Generator 0.4 (blog)
    Result of a student project by Sam Brenner, not intended to be launched commercially. Allows drawing of simple inflow/outflow Sankey diagrams. Code has been released to public domain.
  • Sankey PROFI Energie (webpage discontinued)
    A software with templates for energy management, available in German only. Published by software reseller WEKA, from the looks it is most likely a customized/branded version of e!Sankey (see above).
  • Sankey.Vis (website, now redirected)
    From the makers of the interactive Sankey diagram tool at Bauhaus University Weimar. The developers seem to have founded a company in Berlin and we could see this tool being developed further.
  • SimSankey (website, in German only)
    This small-scale tool by a company named ‘Similar’ from Germany, allows to draw simple top-down-oriented energy diagrams.
  • Yekans (website offline)
    This software probaly never got beyond the first idea, and a small website. Website not available any more.

Software with different areas of application, that have some kind of Sankey functionality

  • CASAnova (website)
    Subtitle: An Educational Software for Energy and Heating Demand, Solar Heat Gains and Overheating Risk in Buildings. This freeware tool allows to enter numerous parameters for a building, and will eventually produce a Sankey diagram of energy flows.
  • eMPlant
    eMPlant (part of the UGS Tecnomatix Suite) claims to “Material flow may be visualized in a Sankey chart that, at a glance, shows transport volume in the context of the layout”. I have not verified this information.
  • Foreseer (website)
    An online tool will help users predict trade-offs between the global commodities of energy, water and land. Developed at University of Cambridge by Julian Allwood and his research group. Foreseer relies heavily on Sankey diagrams.
  • GaBi (website)
    A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) software for analyzing the environmental impacts of a product. This tool by German maker PE Europe can visualize the flows of material in a life cycle with Sankey diagrams.
  • HSC Chemistry (website)
    A simulation software package for chemical processes by Outotec Research Oy from Finland. text on website claims “The HSC-Sim module has built-in ‘Sankey diagrams’ to visualize the distribution of the elements and process variables”.
  • LESOSAI (website)
    A software for calculating the heat balance of a building. Developed by the Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory at the EPFL in Lausanne, it is marketed by a company E4tech. Sankey diagrams for heat losses in a building can be dispayed.
  • OpenLCA (Help page)
    Another Life Cycle Assessment software that has a basic Sankey diagram feature as “graphical illustration of the impacts of different flows in the product system”.
  • Pleiades + Comfie (website)(Wiki)
    Pleiades + Comfie is a software for energy simulation in builings by a French company named Izuba. Although I haven’t seen any screenshot, it seems to have some kind of Sankey diagram output.
  • Raw (website)
    Raw is an “open web app to create custom vector-based visualizations”. Numerous chart types, one of which are alluvial diagrams. This is the successor of Fineo by DensityDesign.
  • SimaPro (website)
    Another LCA software, by PRé Product Ecology Consultants from Amersfoort, Netherlands. The contributions of the individual life cycle phases are displayed in a tree-like Sankey-style graphic.
  • SIMBA / ifak-Sankey (website)
    A simulation software developed by ifak at the University of Magdeburg, Germany. SIMBA was developed to simulate wastewater systems, and also has a Sankey display feature. They are also the maker of ifak-Sankey (offered by Kontenda).
  • STAN 2 (website)
    STAN is a software for substance flow analysis, developed by inka software for the University of Technology of Vienna, Austria. It has a feature for displaying flows in their network diagrams as Sankey arrows. Version 2.0 released May 2009.
  • Tableau (website)
    Data visualization and data analytics software for business intelligence. Now also provides distribution diagrams organized in columns (similar to Fineo, Parsets). See an example here.
  • Tecnomatix Plant Simulation (website)
    This comprehensive plant simulation software package claims that “Material flow may be visualized in a Sankey chart that, at a glance, shows transport volume in the context of the layout”. A Sankey-like diagram is shown in their product brochure.
  • Umberto NXT Efficiency (website)
    A material flow management and process modeling software by ifu Hamburg GmbH. A display of the flow values in a Sankey diagram has been a feature of this software since version 3.0 (current version is Umberto 7.0). They are also the maker of e!Sankey (see above).
  • Umberto NXT CO2 (website)
    A special version of Umberto, that can be used for calculating a product carbon footprint. The footprint model can be displayed as a carbon rucksack Sankey diagram, with CO2-equivalents.
  • Umberto NXT LCA (website)
    Another member of the Umberto product family (see above). This one is for doing Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies. The contributions of the materials and emissions to the impact categories are visualized using Sankey diagrams.

Last update of this list: August 2015

Here is another list of Sankey software by Butler Analytics

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