Finally… After almost 50 years of dependence on foreign sources to meet our growing energy needs, our country is finally in a position to begin reversing the trend. Through advances in drilling technology, discoveries of new oil and natural gas reserves and swift progress in the renewables sector, the United States is setting a course for energy self-sufficiency.
The story of energy in America is a great one — one worth telling to anyone who will listen.
But taking that story and all of its complexities and making it relevant to an increasingly distracted public remains one of our biggest challenges as energy industry communicators. In the information economy, there’s a lot of loose change. Content that lacks context. A rapidly growing punditocracy. An immense amount of noise.
Someone has to break through.
In the spirit of this endeavor, we created the United States of Energy map, the first data visualization piece of its kind to comprehensively detail our nation’s vast and diverse energy portfolio.
Our digital team spent five weeks with selected strategic partners researching and architecting the narrative before moving into design execution. We had an immense amount of data to review, dissect and analyze, all the while ensuring the best data standardization possible — quite the challenge considering the disparate measurement standards for each energy source.
What began as a simple graphic showcasing America’s energy riches quickly grew into a two-sided, folded map concept displaying thousands of individual data points.
The #USofEnergy map visualizes our country’s energy potential by charting current sources of energy production and identifying future resources and known deposits. Energy resources surveyed include: natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass. We compiled the data from a broad range of industry and government sources, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nuclear Research Council and American Wind Energy Association.
Beyond the geographic information system (GIS) data, we harnessed the remaining facts from our research to create bite-sized visuals that demonstrate several fascinating national energy trends, including the rise of renewables, overwhelming percentage increases in certain resources and a few impressive stats about Oklahoma’s dynamic energy portfolio.
It’s a lot of information. But what better way to tell this story — the state of energy in the United States — than through data visualization, where we are able to distill the complex into something we and others can easily digest and understand.
Our #USofEnergy map is intended to be a conversation starter — an opportunity to begin telling the awesome, positive story of America’s domestic energy revival.
It’s about time someone did.