Huxley Spatial Institute develops interactive map of rail lines used to ship crude oil in North America

Western Today staff

Western Washington University’s Huxley Spatial Institute recently completed a collaborative project with the organization Oil Change International. The Institute’s Jacob Lesser and Tyson Waldo spent months developing an online map that allows users to explore the rapid expansion of crude oil being shipped by North American rail lines. The Crude-By-Rail map was created as an online companion to “Runaway Train: The Reckless Expansion of Crude-By-Rail in North America,” a report published by Oil Change International in May 2014.

The interactive map, which is one of the first publicly available resources to document the North American Crude-by-Rail system, offers location and operating status of crude oil terminals as well as location and ownership of rail lines potentially used for crude oil transport. This work continues one of the central missions of the Huxley Spatial Institute: to spatially present potential environmental risk information so that individuals can make informed decisions on their well-being and on the well-being of their communities.

Oil Change International is a research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels.

Huxley Spatial Institute is an interdisciplinary center for spatial research in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Geography, Resilience, and related fields. Housed within Huxley College of the Environment, the Institute supports both undergraduate and graduate level research and instruction. Recent and current research projects include GIS, Remote Sensing, GPS, Cartography, and Disaster Response.

For more information, please contact the Spatial Institute at 360-650-3173.