How Style of Information Delivery affects Quick Understanding

11-30-2018 10:20 AM
Esri Contributor

I came across a great example from Esri Business Partner S&P Global Platts of how they use the same starting data in different ways in their weekly report on US drilling rig activity.  The Platts Upstream Indicator is a free report available at  It starts off as a data extract from SQL Server which then gets massaged into different styles of information presentation.

As a Table - lots of details and uses the "where" as  state or offshore.  You have to study this table to understand what has been happening as there are lots of numbers.

Rigdata Weekly Report - Table Style

As a Chart - Really great to show trends over time and uses the "where" as activity by major oil and gas basin. Again, lots of information represented that a user would need to digest before understanding what was really going on.

Rigdata Weekly Report - Chart Style

As a Map - Needless to say my favorite but it has everything you need to know in just a glance:

  • Where are the producing basins (as the slightly darker areas) and in what state(s)
  • By proportional symbol what and where is the level of rig activity (the hyper-active Permian Basin in West Texas sticks out)
  • Composite labels at each location give just the right amount of stats on absolute numbers plus changes up and down from a year before

Rigdata Weekly Report - New Map Design

This was not the first ArcGIS-derived map that this weekly report has used but this latest design introduced in August 2018 is by far the clearest and most thoughtful cartography the S&P Global Platts GIS team in Denver has produced.  It was done with ArcGIS Pro and apart from a couple of manual tweaks is mostly scripted as an automated process to create.

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