About the Solar Power Prospector
The Solar Power Prospector is a mapping and analysis tool designed to help developers site large-scale solar plants by providing easy access to solar resource datasets and other data relevant to siting solar power projects.
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 (for example, E85) to quickly set legend and transparency options or view the data source.
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.
Viewing 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.
Panning 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 your mouse
on the map to move the map around the screen.
To turn off the Pan tool, select another tool (Zoom or Measure).
You can also pan around the screen by clicking on the arrows in the upper left-hand corner of the map.
Zooming 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 (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.
Reset the Map
Clicking Home returns the map to default, full U.S. map view. Your layer and legend selections will stay the same.
Using 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.
Closing the Measurement Totals box to turn off the Measure tool.
Printing the Map
Click Print in the top menu bar to print the map on the screen. A new window will open. Add a title to the map and click the Print button.
Use the mouse to click and drag the map to re-center it on the page. This is useful for users with large monitors.
Note for Internet Explorer Users: Internet Explorer cannot print transparent images. If your map contains partially transparent layers (layers that allow other map features to show through them) those layers will be completely opaque in the printed output. The Firefox browser does not have this limitation.
The Find Location tool allows you to search for a specific location on the map. Enter the location and click OK. The map will zoom to the geographical center of the location you input.
Address entry formats:
- Street address, City, State, Zip code
- City, State, Zip code
- City, State
- Zip code
Lat/Long entry formats:
- 39.73 -104.98
- 39° 44' N 104° 59' W
- 39 44 N 104 59 W
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. Black spots will appear on the map over the locations from which data is pulled.
The data for each of the locations will appear in a data window 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 (Biodiesel, E85, 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.
Clear Overlays: This option clears the black data indicator spots from the screen.
Using the Advanced Query Tool
Changing the Base Layer
In the right-hand corner of the screen, click on the Baselayers menu to select a map view. You can choose: map, satellite, or hybrid view.