A.J. Simon describes the latest (2015) of the U.S. energy flow charts published annually by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Well explained and educative.

Enjoy your 3 minute class on ‘How to read an LLNL energy flow chart (Sankey diagram)’.

via Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory YouTube channel

A new tutorial video showing how to build a Sankey diagram with e!Sankey. The example they use is a steel reheating furnace.

via ifu Hamburg YouTube channel

Only energy flows in Kwh depicted. If you don’t have 10 minutes to spare, skip to the 6:00 mark to still get some of the better stuff like how to do loops, hiding nodes or making color gradients on arrows.

Just discovered this new Sankey diagram video via e!Sankey Forum. Apparently just meant as a a show case for the possibilities offered by the e!Sankey software development kit (SDK).

We can see mass flows on a production line with two machines feeding ‘Item A’ and ‘Item B’ into the main production line.

These seem to be hourly flow values over a 30-hour time span. There are some red warnings indicating low buffer, and even one or two times when the production runs dry. Interesting…

Found that there are some more (educational) videos on youtube now that deal with Sankey diagrams.

Found the below two videos while browsing for the keyword “sankey diagrams” on youtube.com.

This seems to be the output of a student assignment at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Note that the narrative is in Spanish.

In the first video Marcela Rojas explains the basics of building up Sankey diagrams and how to create a national energy balance diagram.

In the other, longer video Paola Cifuentes shows us how she created the ‘balanco energetico minero de Colombia’.


Ecowest’s Marc Tobin has this video on Sankey diagrams up on his Youtube channel. He uses LLNLs energy flow diagrams to explain differences in the energy pattern in the 11 western states.

I particularly like it when he comments that Sankey diagrams are much appreciated by “data visulization nerds”… (check out from 0:28).

Just came across this video featuring a “Sankey diagram of the Taiwan economy, jobs and energy in 2010” by ARUP (uploaded to vimeo by user Simon Roberts).

The underlying model is called “4see-TW” framework and has been created to “investigate the structure and function of an economy in a resource-constrained world”.

This is certainly exciting… howevever one must be warned that the Sankey diagram includes different “dimensions”: energy flows, value streams (money flows) and jobs. These three perspectives probably have different unit types and units (such as, e.g. TJ for energy, Euro or US$ or New Taiwan Dollar TWD for values, and persons or workplaces for jobs). Hence the width of the Sankey arrows mustn’t be compared to each other across the unit types.

Haven’t found the time yet to dig more into the 4see-TW model, but here is one starting point (edit: link doesn’t work any more) for those interested.

Visited YouTube again and found this video on ‘Basic Sankey Diagrams’ … enjoy!

A notice on scoop.it/visualdata led me to this fascinating video on visualnews. It shows the making of an infographic in two minutes or 3657 frames and is by Jess Bachmann for mint.com.

The central element of the infographic is a Sankey diagram on the trade flows between the United States and China (and to/from other countries).

it is interesting to see how Jess did every weighted arrow as a brush line with rounded head (the heads are neatly hidden behind the country maps, or capped at the other end). Each horizontal, vertical and curved segment is done individually.

In the YouTube comments of the long version of this video the author replied to one commenter: “After determining a metric, i.e 1 pixel width = $1M, I then stroked a line with the corresponding size brush. A $34M item would have a 34px width line. At one point you can even see a calculator popping up (0:55 into the video).

The long (7 minute) version has a lot more details on how the infographic comes to life. You can even see that Jess keeps saving his work from time to time…

Wow, what a hell lot of work – but the result sure looks gorgeous.

I calculated that Jess took more than 10h to complete this: 3657 frames, ten seconds between each frame = 36570 sec, 3600 seconds to an hour, makes 10.16 hours! I am just glad I have my Sankey diagramming software, so at least I don’t have to bother about brush sizes.