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Discuss and decide with Paul the use of STAF flow diagrams for CityLoops

Created on Friday 12 February 2021, 11:29

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  • ID
  • Project
  • Status
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  • Type
    General Research Work
  • Assigned to
    Paul Hoekman
  • Subscribers
    Carolin Bellstedt
    Paul Hoekman

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The CL cities will have to build value chains for all 11+12 sector materials. They will not all have their own iterations of e.g. a concrete value chain, but we will split up the materials amongst them. I was trying to figure out how they could best build the value chains and of course the flow diagrams in STAF came to mind and Aris is keen to use those too, but we didn't want to get our hopes up. The question to Paul is however: is this ready to be used by the public / the CL cities?

Benefit of using STAF flow diagram would be / is:
1. Clear from and to of flows
2. Already have NACE codes in the system
3. Possibility to specify / simplify NACE codes by using generic terms e.g. “sale of concrete”
4. Central place to have the value chains
5. Value chains in a standardised form
6. No copy pasting of material codes to other sites/applications
7. IDEALLY: connect to the Sankey (eventually); --> Paul, you had said at some point that this link wasn't too far off.

1. Looks funky if the material diagram goes outside of the image, e.g.
2. Sometimes the diagram doesn't show. This seems to be the case if the name is too long, e.g. for Oil-bearing crops, "01.11 - Growing of cereals (except rice), leguminous crops and oil seeds" gives trouble, which I tested in testtest.
3. Not integrated with CL data hub (yet).

If all this is too far from being put to practical use, then we'd use google slides as alternative.

Thanks in advance for your input Paul!

Discussion and updates

New task was created

Would be great to use this indeed. It's a bit of work to integrate in CL but not too much. If you can clearly outline how you'd like this to work then I'll slot this in. For the cons, Guus can hopefully fix point 1, I'm pretty sure I can sort out point 2 and 3.

Oh, ok. Great!! I'm not sure what it is exactly that I need to outline, but I will try. Let me know if you need additional info.

  1. We will need to have a total of 23 flow diagrams, one for each of the sector materials in column B/C here. I can set up the names/empty diagrams etc., no problem.
  2. Ideally, they are all in one place on , much like they are now here. We can still see where in the menu they will sit.
  3. A city will go to one material and try to build the value chain for that material with NACE codes. Aris and I will supervise and do a check of those value chains, to see if they are correct, to the best of our knowledge ofc.
  4. Once all 23 flow diagrams are ready, I copy the relevant NACE codes of each material into the tab of a google spreadsheet. (11 tabs for the construction sector)
  5. A city figures out if they have this activity, what the GDP is, actors connected etc.
  6. They later on use that same structure (google NACE sheet) to fill in the values for the materials
  7. Sankey is built from that spreadsheet and can be displayed in the dashboard.

Noted, that's all clear. Just one question: the flow diagrams are NOT city-specific, right? There is just one large list that they can all see/edit/add to?

Correct. They make generic flow diagrams in one large list.

OK perfect. Coolio I'll add this to my list.

When do you need this by?

Task was assigned to Paul Hoekman

Fantastic! Thanks :)
Latest by morning of next Friday, Feb 19, because Aris has to make a video about how to use it. Best case scenario on Monday (Feb 15), so Aris can make the video then. (He still works only on Mon and Fri for CL.) What is more realistic from your side?

OK noted. Next week is pretty packed already for me. I will see if I can do something on Sunday but no promises. Most realistic is undoubtedly by the morning of Fri 19th.

If there's other stuff needed for CL that needs discussion and then integration please do also start those discussions now, as having a few weeks lead time helps me a lot to avoid pressure.

I'll keep you posted here on progress.

Okay, this is now active! Hereby the details:

  • The URL is It's not yet in the menu - I'll leave that for you to sort out with Guus.
  • This page shows all our flow diagrams -- there are no "subsite-specific" diagrams. I imagine that shouldn't be a problem and in fact we should try to build up one repository of flow diagrams. If there are too many and we want to somehow group them, then we can do that, but we must first figure out how that grouping should work.
  • In order for people to add or edit flow diagrams, they have to have the DATA PROCESSOR permission for the site they are on (e.g. STAF or CITYLOOPS). Go to the control panel > contributors, and then give people this permission there so that they can manage the flow diagrams.

Please liaise with Guus to look into front-end stuff. The testest one doesn't display because the javascript library used returns an error when there are parenthesis in the name. Guus can likely either sort that out, or he can let me know what alternative characters should be used to make it work. And Guus can likely also make some cosmetic tweaks to make it overall look nicer. In any case I suggest you set up a separate task for front-end adjustments -- for now closing this but do let me know if there are structural changes to be made.

Status change: Open → Completed

Paul, you are the best!! Thanks for setting this up :)
1. Yes, will do that.
2. Makes sense and is not a problem at all. In fact, I do see this work as starting the repository of flow diagrams.
3. Ok. I just tested it with myself as user and it worked. I'm wondering if it creates chaos when we give the cities data processing permissions for CL, because theoretically they could then process other things too. Not sure we want that already. Instead, I could give them permissions on STAF and have them work there, so they can't process other CL items. What do you think?
4. Yep, will work the rest out with Guus. Thanks for the info on what causes the issue.

OK great Carolin! Regarding (3) I doubt they would go in and process stuff -- and even if they do, pretty much everything can be reversed. The STAF site really is only prepared for internal use so it would be better to not yet fiddle with access there and instead just give them data processing powers on CityLoops.

Ok, good. Thanks!
(Btw, the control panel link on STAF has the wrong the link, it should be this one:

Yeah that link will start properly functioning once we make the website public.