How Our Maps Work

Not sure how to work with our maps or where to find the data behind them? This page offers user interface tips, features, and more information on how our maps work.

In any embedded map on our site, click to view the map fullscreen. This can be done by either clicking on the link provided in the article below the map or by clicking on the expanding arrows in the top right corner of the map itself.

Once you are viewing the map fullscreen, use the guide below to understand how to work with our maps.

Understanding the User Interface

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Click Details for more information about the map you’re viewing, including data sources

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Click Legend to view descriptions of the items displayed on the map

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Click Print to save a version of the current map view

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Click Layers to expand a list of available/displayed layers on the map

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Click Basemap to update the base map layer (i.e. Satellite, Terrain, Streets)

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Click Measure to determine distance, area, or a geolocation on the map

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Bookmarks are locations of interest specific to this map

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Click Share to share this map page with your email or social media account

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Type in an address or point of interest to center the map on that location using the Search bar

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Use the + to Zoom In and the – to Zoom Out

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Auto-updating scale bar

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Attribution for data used to create this map

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Click on a map feature or area to view details about that specific item

About FracTracker.org and Our Maps

FracTracker.org is here to provide you with the most up-to-date oil and gas drilling data that we can collect, map, and share.

Our site contains a growing index of pre-made maps, such as the location of wells drilled, violations, watersheds, storage facilities, etc. This national information is collected by our staff, depending on whether the state releases such data. The maps run on an Esri-based platform called ArcGIS Online. As those in the GIS world may know, Esri is the largest company in the world that specializes in helping people make maps with GIS technologies. You don’t need to be registered to use our site or maps. All of these services are provided free of charge. We highly encourage you to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, which keeps recipients up-to-date with FracTracker news and information about oil and gas extraction.

There are a lot of intuitive features available on our maps. See the list below for just a few of them. We are also in the process of developing a few more features.

Current Mapping Features

  • A Wide Range of Maps

    We cover and map fracking by state, nationally, and to some degree internationally

  • Learn More

    Read text and brief metadata about the map in the “Details” section

  • Searching Our Maps

    Wondering if drilling is occurring near you? Find your state and search by an address

  • Click on a Point

    Click on a point or region on the map to learn more about a well or geographic area

  • Built-in Measuring Tool

    Determine the area, distance from one point to another, or the geolocation of a site

  • View Full Screen

    Click the arrows in the upper right hand corner of an embedded map to view it full screen

  • Zoom or Pan

    Click and drag the map to pan it. Double click to zoom.

  • Change the Base Map

    Use this button to change the way the background of the map looks

  • See More Data

    Toggle certain layers on and off using the Layers button in the toolbar

  • Print the Map

    Export different file sizes of the map using the Print button’s drop down menu

Frequently Asked Questions

Where did the data used to make a map originate?

The “Details” tab on the left side of the full screen map contains all of the information – or metadata – about each map. This tab includes the data’s sources, date last updated, and how/whether the data were manipulated in any way to make them easier to understand.

Where is the legend?

In the full screen version of the map, the legend pops up automatically on the left side of the screen. Each data type currently being displayed on the map will be visible and color coded.

I don’t see a well near me on a map

Sometimes there is a significant lag-time in between when a well is completed and when the company reports this change to the appropriate regulatory agency (if that is even a requirement in your state). If the well was recently drilled, the well might not show up on our map because we need to update our system to reflect the new data. Other times, the fact that there isn’t a well shown where it should be is due to a difference in how the well’s location gets mapped by our software. Contact us if you notice a discrepancy.

The map is too busy. How do I show less detail?

Sometimes we layer on a lot of data onto one map. If there are too many points, you can click on the “Layers” button in the toolbar to see all of the data being shown on the map presently. From there, you can toggle layers on or off to your liking.

What is a base map?

A base map provides context to the data being mapped. As such it sits beneath it, at the “base.” Base maps can be very plain so as to highlight the pattern of the data, or very detailed – such as in a Google road map – to help locate activity near a roadway.

Can I embed a FracTracker map on my website?

Yes. The easiest way is to email us with your request, and we’ll email you the code that you need. The final code should look something like this:

Final mock up of the code needed to embed a FracTracker map into a website

The height and width of the embedded map (shown here as 800 pixels wide and 500 pixels tall) can be adjusted by changing the numbers in between the quotations to whatever pixel dimensions you need.

How do I stay up to date?

Whenever we post a new article and/or map on FracTracker.org we often update our various social media feeds with the news: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. If you are not a social media buff, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters instead.

I still don’t get it.

We understand that working with technology can be frustrating and complicated. Not to worry. You can request an in-person training by a FracTracker staff person for you or a group of people (ideal) at a location of your choosing. To request a training, please email Sam Malone at malone@fractracker.org.

If this page doesn’t answer your question about our maps, feel free to contact us.