T-Squared: Building a Better Map

Maps have always been an important part of the Tribune's offerings, but today they take a leap forward by becoming bigger, nimbler, smarter and embeddable.

Around Trib HQ we get excited about maps. Texas is a big state, and we take as our mission making sense of how complicated events and data play out across it. Certain stats, no matter how dense, suddenly become much clearer when mapped. And good maps often enhance — sometimes even spark — good stories. That's why we've been mapping since our earliest days.

Today Ryan Murphy, the Trib's chief data reporter, leads us into an exciting new chapter of mapmaking — one in which maps are bigger, nimble enough to adjust to whatever device you have in your hand and smart enough to know where you are. Six weeks in the making, this new style of Trib map takes its inspiration from NPR's award-winning Fire Forecast map. Ryan spent considerable time under the hood of this ambitious project, collecting and taming data from the Texas Railroad Commission. He followed that groundwork with a complete reworking of how we present maps. All about the data, this new style of map fills your entire screen. Whether you're holding a smartphone or seated before a large flatscreen monitor, all you see is map. A tap of the "Find Me!" button refocuses the view on your location. And — true to our commitment to freely share content — this new map can easily be embedded on any site.

Just use this code to add the map to your site or blog:

<iframe src="https://www.texastribune.org/series/water-for-fracking/map/?embed=true" style="width: 100%; height: 500px;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"></iframe>

For our first foray into Trib maps 2.0, Ryan focused on Texas disposal wells: the more than 7,000 sites where wastewater, often from hydraulic fracturing operations, is released. The latest addition to our multi-part series, Water for Fracking, Ryan's elegant map helps you learn more of the thousands of disposal sites that dot our state and maybe even your backyard.

We hope you like this new approach to presenting data. Look for more maps like it in the months to come. 

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