MIT Center for Civic Media | Innovating civic media tools and practices together with communities

extrAct: Landman Report Card (Not Currently in Development)

ExtrAct, a set of Internet-based, databasing, mapping and communications technologies for communities impacted by natural gas development, is a novel platform for community education and civic action.

Its objective is to create and distribute open-source, web-based tools for mapping, analyzing, and intervening in this industry based on supplementing data obtained from state and federal agencies with user generated reports, complaints, and experiences.

All of these tools, though accessible individually, will share information through a unified database. Given that these tools will be serving both urban and rural populations, we are also developing innovative paper and phone interfaces to the web-services. To develop these tools we are working with a network of lawyers, citizen’s alliances, national activist organizations and environmental health experts in Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Texas.

How might communities use it?
By geographically displaying the data, ExtrAct tools provide a textured sense of how issues related to oil and gas differ among the legal, social, and physical landscapes of various communities. Regional views and rates of complaints might differ significantly, or a company may behave differently depending on the legal, social and physical place. The ExtrAct system will hopefully illustrate those differences and provide the means for geographic communities to generate information about their own particular conditions as well as allow them to connect with, learn from, and act in concert with other geographic communities that share similar issues or engage with similar companies. Through the ExtrAct tools users will be able to contact other users with issues related to theirs as well as experts who may be able to assist them. Likewise experts interested in oil and gas will be able to contact community groups and individuals reporting information potentially useful to them.

The tools’ source-code will be licensed with a Creative Commons or an alternative free and open source software license to encourage continued adaptation and optimization of the tools themselves. Eventually we aim that the tools will be adopted, served and adapted by the community groups that use them rather than require any long-term support from MIT. We have code repository that is currently accessible upon request.

For more information about using this tool, contact: 

Comments

I just read a newspaper article on the new software you are developing for Colorado to look up information on oil and gas companies. Does anyone know if there are plans to extend this program to Montana? We in Montana are just beginning to experience increased oil and gas development, especially unconventional methods that use fracturing, and we could sorely use a tool such as this to help protect and inform land owners.

Any information you could provide would be extremely helpful. Thanks.

This is a neat way to keep track of the natural gas developments around the world.

Montana has had oil and gas development including fracturing for several decades. You can get information from the Bureau of Land Management.

The San Juan Basin of NW New Mexico and a little semi-circle of SW Colorado is home to over 20,000 gas and oil wells in a field under development since the 1920's. In my county, Rio Arriba, we have 11,400 active and plugged/abandoned wells all crammed on the western edge. New development is threatened on the eastern edge in the Rio Chama watershed. Opportunities abound for your LRC. What do we have to do to get in?

John

I just read a newspaper article on the new software you are developing for Colorado to look up information on oil and gas companies. Does anyone know if there are plans to extend this program to Montana? We in Montana are just beginning to experience increased oil and gas development, especially unconventional methods that use fracturing, and we could sorely use a tool such as this to help protect and inform land owners.

Hi,

We are currently working with established landowners' groups. Are you currently involved with one in Montana?

Here is the site for the first stage of our project:
http://lrc.media.mit.edu/

There you can go to the "contact us" section:
http://lrc.media.mit.edu/contact

And go ahead an fill out your information. Be sure to select "community request" in the category part of the form.

Best,

Chris.

thanks for this really helpful link, i think this porject is really great application, and i hope so useful for many people !

This seems like a great application and one that will really help as more and more communities deal with this issue. Was this project funded by a grant?

The San Juan Basin of NW New Mexico and a little semi-circle of SW Colorado is home to over 20,000 gas and oil wells in a field under development since the 1920's. In my county, Rio Arriba, we have 11,400 active and plugged/abandoned wells all crammed on the western edge. New development is threatened on the eastern edge in the Rio Chama watershed. Opportunities abound for your LRC. What do we have to do to get in?

Don Schreiber
Devil's Spring Ranch
Gobernador, NM

Hi Don,

See the note above... best thing is if you send us an email from
http://lrc.media.mit.edu/contact

We are already working with San Juan Citizens Alliance, and have done tours of Aztec and Farmington. Your state is indeed hammered. If you can join SJCA that would be great, as they are going to be doing the first training sessions in your area:

http://www.sanjuancitizens.org/
New Mexico Chapter Office
108 North Behrend, Suite I
Farmington, NM 87401
Ph: (505) 325-6724

I'd like to keep up on this project and see how you go about incorporating social networks into solving some of today's energy issues. Or if not solving, at least tracking and figuring out how to address the energy issues. Best of luck...

I grew up in West Virginia country side and was fascinated by this idea as I could relate to the exploitation situation very well. I am a freelance writer and working on a news article for a local magazine. Where can I get media contact info? Would like to interview the project coordinator to feature a success story

Shayari Bonn
Teays Valley, WA

Hi Shayari,

Please send us something at our contact form, http://lrc.media.mit.edu/contact .

Best,

Chris.

This seems like a great application and one that will really help as more and more communities deal with this issue. Was this project funded by a grant?

Yes! Initial development was funded by a generous grant by the Knight Foundation, which is doing great work in the information needs of communities in democracies [http://www.informationneeds.org/] and new forms of news and reporting [http://www.newschallenge.org/].

i was reading something similar on another website that i was researching. I will be sure to look around more. thanks...
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I'd like to keep up on this project and see how you go about incorporating social networks into solving some of today's energy issues. Or if not solving, at least tracking and figuring out how to address the energy issues. Best of luck...

I compliment the authors on the direction they take in looking to evaluate the competitive streams of developing the oil and gas fields. GIS mapping is the way to make connections, integrating the various profiles in a way that can provide dimension of competitive change.
I suggest greater detail is required on the levels of technology applied in the developments, and any reference to avoidence protocols. I also suggest we need biological evidence of biodiversity and species well being. Only such reference will validate the conclusions that are sought. Wonderful project... Pariuri SportiveRezultate Liveso much more needed.

The U.S. natural gas market is 98% North American sourced. Horizontal drilling and fracing has made natural gas production from domestic shales surge in wide swaths of the mountain West, South and even Appalachia. Green groups in the U.S. still see natural gas as the preferred transitional fuel and far preferable to any coal technology. The burgeoning technology for producing renewable natural gas provides an additional pathway forward, and remember that natural gas combined cycle power plants are extremely efficient and can complement wind power very effectively.

The San Juan Basin of NW New Mexico and a little semi-circle of SW Colorado is home to over 20,000 gas and oil wells in a field under development since the 1920's. In my county, Rio Arriba, we have 11,400 active and plugged/abandoned wells all crammed on the western edge. New development is threatened on the eastern edge in the Rio Chama watershed. Opportunities abound for your LRC. What do we have to do to get in?

Jim

Indeed a neat way to keep track of the gas developments, basically a great mapping application. Founded by the Knight Foundation? Never heard of them... Anyway, ExtrAct looks very promissing and I am curious how it will turn out in the end. Any updates?