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Inside DrilIinginfo’s Map Drawers #4: Marcellus Shale


Oil Men Love Maps. We know that because the first and second and third installments of Inside Drillinginfo’s Map Drawers have been crazy popular. For our fourth installment, I asked GIS Technician II Jennifer DeForke a few questions about this map of the Marcellus Shale.

Map Title: Marcellus Shale

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

The Director of GIS, Dale Emrich, requested a series of maps for display in the Austin office. The map series focuses on Oil and Gas Plays in the US, this map is of the Marcellus Shale gas play.

Which DI Cartography Group Made it?

GIS Department

Completion date/Date of Production?

February 2014

Medium: Web / Print / Digital?


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

This map is displayed in Transverse Mercator UTM Zone 17N – NAD 27. Transverse Mercator preserves shape, so it was the best choice to display the shapes of the states. Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are best displayed in UTM Zone 17 North, and NAD 27 is a standard datum used here at DI.

Sources of Data and How Processed?

All data except the elevation layer, which is obtained directly through ESRI, comes from a DI dataset. Drilling Rigs and Well Log Data are shown on top of Leasing Coverage, and all layers are zoomed into the extent of the Marcellus Shale Play. The play outline was created by DI Analytics.

Choice of Scale / Direction and why?

This map is set at 1:800,000. This scale was determined by the area of interest; in this case, the Marcellus Shale. It allows for display of data and shape recognition of the mid-Atlantic region of the US.

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

Leasing Coverage is displayed in vivid green to appear complementary to the natural color tones of the elevation layer. DI Rigs are symbolized using the traditional oil rig symbol, and the Well Logs are bright yellow so they can be seen easily amongst the other data displayed. The Play outline uses a multi ring buffer fade which was described in detail in Inside Drillinginfo’s Map Drawers #2: Niobrara Formation.

The series of maps that Marcellus Shale comes from all incorporate Copperplate Gothic Bold as font of choice.

Legends / Insets / Annotations / Other elements and why?

We kept the legend simple and clean only showing the pertinent information displayed by the map. The bottom left inset gives a frame of reference for the location of the Marcellus Shale Play in the greater context of the Contiguous United States.

Why we love it?

We love this map because it focuses on the trending movement of drilling in the Marcellus Shale Play. Where there are currently rigs drilling new wells, there will soon be Well Logs to follow! This map shows a well-defined area of interest and important DrillingInfo datasets while retaining its pleasing to the eye layout and color scheme.

Your Turn

What do you think? Does this map answer any questions you had about the Marcellus Shale? 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).