The BioFuels Atlas enables geographically based analysis of U.S. biomass resources (e.g., crop residues and wood) and potential biofuels production from these resources. It also overlays resource maps with features such as bioenergy and brownfield sites, distribution infrastructure, and power plants. Content is dynamic and updated as new data become available.
The BioFuels Atlas is completely Web based: no specialized software or downloads are required. It is easy to use - even for novice users - and requires no training. The Help menu briefly describes each function. Following are basic tips for getting started.
Navigating the Map
The BioFuels Atlas opens to a U.S. map. If you move away from this view (e.g., by using the Zoom or Query tools), return to the full U.S. view by clicking the Home button. To move around the map, use the Pan tool or the arrows in the upper left-hand corner of the map. If you use another tool, select the Pan tool to move around within the new map view.
To select or deselect layers, simply click the associated checkboxes. Right-click on a layer (e.g., Corn Stover) to set legend and transparency options or view the data source (metadata).
State ViewUsing State View to Analyze State-Specific Resources
The State View tool makes it easy for you to analyze biomass resources by state. Select the state you want to analyze from the drop down list of states. The map zooms in on the selected state, and a state summary of traditional and bioenergy infrastructure appears in a data pane at the bottom of the screen. To download the data to an Excel spreadsheet, click the Download button at the top of the data pane. A message may appear asking you to confirm the file type before importing it to a spreadsheet.
You can use all BioFuels Atlas functions in State View mode, but the results will apply only to the selected state.
The Layers tab in the left-hand column allows you to select the data you want to display on the map. Click in the checkboxes to choose each data type. Icons or shaded regions, matching those in the layer list, will appear on the map. To expand or collapse a data folder, click on the + or - box next to the folder.
Right-click on a data selection (e.g., Corn Stover) to quickly set legend and transparency options or view the data source (metadata).
The order in which layers (or groups of layers) are drawn on the map can be modified by clicking on a layer or folder and dragging it higher or lower in the list. On the map, layers higher in the list will be rendered on top of layers lower in the list.
LegendViewing the Legend
The Legend tab in the left-hand column allows you to refine the data you want displayed on the map. Legend information exists for each layer drawn on the map and allows you to create custom layer styles (changing colors; hiding classes).
Click in the checkboxes to remove or add a data class, or click on the colored boxes (or lines/points) to change the color, then click Apply.
Click Reset All Layers to return the legend to the default setting.
HomeUsing Home to Reset the Map
Clicking Home returns the map to the default, full U.S. map view. Your Layers and Legend selections will stay the same.
PanPanning the Map
The Pan tool allows you to move the map around your screen. Click on Pan in the top menu bar to turn your cursor into a hand. Click and drag the hand on the map to move it around the screen.
To turn off the Pan tool, select another tool (e.g., Zoom or Measure).
You can also pan around the screen by clicking the arrows in the upper left-hand corner of the map.
ZoomZooming the Map
This tool allows you to zoom in on the map. Click on Zoom in the top menu bar. Your cursor will turn into a magnifying glass. Drag a box over the area that you wish to zoom to. To turn off Zoom, select another tool (e.g., Zoom or Measure).
You can also zoom in or out by clicking on the + or - scale in the upper left-hand corner of the map.
MeasureUsing the Measure Tool
This tool allows you to measure the distance between points in either miles or kilometers.
To measure between points on the map, click Measure in the top menu bar. Select either miles or kilometers. Single-click on a starting point. Drag your mouse to an ending point and double-click to release the Measure tool. The distance between the points will appear in the Measurement Totals box.
Close the Measurement Totals box to turn off the Measure tool.
QueryUsing the Query Tool to Identify Features
The Query tool allows you to retrieve data about a specific spot or region on the map.
By Point: When you query By Point, your arrow cursor will appear with a small "i" next to it. Click on a specific icon or shaded region on the map. A Query Results box will appear with the data related to that specific point. If there is more than one piece of data at that point, a box will appear allowing you to select a specific type of data.
By Region: When you query By Region, your arrow cursor will appear with a small "i" in a box next to it. Click and drag your mouse over the region you would like to query. The map will zoom into that region. Blue highlighting will appear on the map over the counties from which data is pulled.
The data for each of the counties will appear in a data pane at the bottom of the screen. Click on the tabs at the top of the data pane to view the results for each data type (Corn Stover, Forest Residues, etc.). Click on the small arrow box at the upper right of the data pane to collapse and reopen the pane.
To download the data to an Excel spreadsheet, click the Download button at the top of the data pane. A message may appear asking you to confirm the file type before importing it to a spreadsheet.
To close a data tab, click the x in the upper-right corner of the tab. Closing all tabs will close the data pane.
Clear Results: Click the Query button and select Clear Results.
AnalysisUsing the Analysis Tool
The Analysis tool is used for selecting a point on the map and converting the biomass resources within a specified area into potential biofuel production (gallons). Please limit selected feedstocks to four or less for speed of tool.1. Click the Analysis button.
2. Select a point on the map. Screen will appear with feedstocks and radius.
3. Choose feedstock layers you are interested in.
4. Change the Radius, if needed (maximum radius is 100 mile)
5. Click the Run button.
A Bioenergy Resource Analysis Results window appears showing the biomass resources and potential biofuel production for the selected layers and area. You can change the values in the Available Resource (pulls in total for all counties included in radius even if just a small section of a county is in the radius), Expected Biofuel Yield, and % of Resource Obtainable fields and recalculate the Potential Biofuel Production by clicking the Calculate button. Regardless of the additional calculations you make, the results in the Summary tab remain constant based on your original analysis.
To exit the Analysis mode, click the x in the upper right-hand corner of the results window.
BaselayersChanging the Base Layer
In the upper right-hand corner of the screen, click on the Baselayers menu to select a map view. You can choose map, satellite, hybrid view, open street map, or none.