Interactive Energy Atlas for Colorado and New Mexico: an Online Resource for Decision Makers and the Public

What Is It?

The Interactive Energy Atlas for Colorado and New Mexico is a decision support tool that promotes understanding the trade-offs for different forms of energy development. The atlas is a compilation of GIS data sets focusing on energy development, and interactive maps showing how these datasets layer together for a comprehensive view of energy development trade-offs in these two states. Interactive maps show energy sources, infrastructure, and natural resources as they relate to both renewable energy and oil and gas. The layers of data can be viewed in any combination on a base map of satelite images, and can zoom or pan to highlight specific areas of interest. 

A complete overview and acces to the online resource can be found at the U.S. Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center.

Policy Issues

  • Balancing ecological impacts and ecosystem services
  • Increased energy development throughout Colorado and New Mexico
  • Public land and resource management
  • Consequences for recreation

Strengths

  • Unbiased, science-based data.

  • Combines all existing datasets available for renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

Limitations

  • Limited to Colorado and New Mexico.

  • The most recent datasets are three years old.

Types of Data Needed

The GIS data used in the interactive energy maps can be viewed here, and downloadable sets are available as well for Colorado and New Mexico.

How Do I Get It?

The interactive tools can be accessed through the Energy and Environment in the Rocky Mountain Area website in the Interactive Maps section.

Related Methods

Case study research is used to conduct an in-depth investigation of an issue at a specific instance and location.
Comparative research looks at two or more similar groups, individuals, or conditions by comparing them. This comparison often focuses on a few specific characteristics. This method can also be used to compare the same group, condition, or individual over time (also called longitudinal comparison). Comparisons may be qualitative or quantitative.
Cost-benefit analysis provides an organizational framework for identifying, quantifying, and comparing the costs and benefits (measured in dollars) of a proposed policy action.
GIS is a compilation of hardware, software, and data that enables users to manipulate, analyze, and display geographically referenced information. GIS is used to document human use patterns, identifying culturally sensitive areas, prioritizing regions for additional public access, or highlighting demographic trends within a community.

Related Partners

The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.