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Inside DrilIinginfo’s Map Drawers #5: Haynesville Shale


Humans have been making maps for around 8000 years. Whether you’re trying to determine the right time to plant your crops by plotting the stars, or figure out where the Starbucks is in the mall, maps increase our confidence, and help us visualize the journey ahead. Our first, second, third and fourth installments of Inside Drillinginfo’s Map Drawers have been fun for us to share. Since the Haynesville Shale play has been gaining some press lately, for our fifth installment, I asked GIS Technician I Slade Sawyer a few questions about this map of the Haynesville Shale.

Map Title: Haynesville Shale

Who asked for the map, and what did they ask for?

Drillinginfo’s rapid growth over the last year means new office space and blank walls. GIS Director Dale Emrich asked employees to put our stamp on our new surroundings, and one answer was to create an activity map for each of our meeting rooms named for major plays. Voila!

Which DI cartography Group or Technician Made it?

Lindsey Venable, GIS Tech III Team Lead

Completion date/Date of Production

March 2014

Medium: Web / Print / Digital


Type or Style of Map (Projection?) (GCS?PCS?)

The State and County lines ground the user in the map, and true representation of parcel and tract shape is integral for leasehold data. Preserving shape for spatial recognition and data accuracy is best performed by the Mercator projection.

Source of Data and How Processed?

We predominantly use proprietary data produced by a couple of our outstanding teams here at DI: Rigs and LandTrac. Specifically, we use the GPS locations downloaded daily from Rigs, and weekly updated leasehold information from the courthouse.

Choice of Scale / Direction and why?

The size and shape of the Haynesville Shale Play provides an appropriate scale when viewed in its full extent.

Choice of Color Pallete and Font(s) and why? Transparencies?

The bountiful data in this map calls for a wide range of contrasting colors to help distinguish data categories. State and County names are kept simple and small to provide spatial clues without clutter, and are still easily distinguishable by means of size and formatting. The faded Haynesville Play outline has as bit of style while providing focus for the area of interest without interfering with other data representation.

Legends / Insets / Annotations / Other elements and why?

The inset provides a keen frame of reference and allows the Haynesville Play to be viewed in its full extent. The legend is robust given the amount of data, and the derricks are just right.

Why we love it?

Upper management provides the vision and direction for our skilled Rigs programmers to create a great product, tireless GIS technicians update the LandTrac database with leasehold information. Our meticulous Austin Data Management team makes sure everyone has solid data, and our Gatherers in the field wade in and sling books with some of the best book wranglers at the courthouses. This map is a synergy of all the hard working folks at DI, and so we love it!

Your Turn

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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Eric Roach

Eric Roach is the editor of Drillinginfo's blog, which was selected as the Top Oil & Gas Industry Blog based on visibility, engagement and relevance. He also prepares a weekly newsletter of top industry news for blog subscribers, and would be grateful if you would subscribe and tell your friends. (There's a box on the upper right of the page where you can subscribe).