Maps & Data FAQ

What are these maps for?

The Climate Alliance Mapping Project (CAMP) is a collaborative effort between academics, environmental NGOs, and indigenous organizations working for a socially just response to climate change. Through participatory action research and digital story mapping, CAMP aims to engage the public, build activist and community networks, and inform policy decisions related to keeping fossil fuels in the ground. CAMP was created in response to research showing that to limit average global temperature rise to 2℃, two-thirds of global fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. The CAMP website and map are a resource and storytelling platform that support the work of front-line communities – those living alongside fossil fuel development who are directly challenging extraction. Learn more about the project background.

Why did CAMP begin in the Amazon Basin?

In the debate over where to keep fossil fuels in the ground, the Amazon Basin is a critical place to start. Home to the world’s largest and most biologically diverse tropical forest covering an area larger than the continental US, the Amazon houses one-third of the earth’s plant and animal species, produces a fifth of the world’s freshwater and plays a critical role in regulating our global climate as it produces oxygen and absorbs carbon, and drives global weather patterns. Oil and gas development in the Amazon pose a triple threat for climate. They not only increase CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, they also require massive deforestation for roads and pipelines. Fallen trees produce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease the ecosystem’s ability to capture and store atmospheric carbon.

The Amazon is also home to nearly 400 distinct indigenous peoples that depend on the Amazon for their physical and cultural survival. Many indigenous communities have been working to end fossil fuel development in the Amazon for decades.

CAMP developed out of conversations between researchers at the University of Arizona and staff at Amazon Watch, a nonprofit organization that works directly with indigenous communities in the Amazon region of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru to build local capacity and advance the long-term protection of their lands. Together with the Sierra Club, Amazon Watch convened a group of 50 environmental and indigenous organizations as the Americas-wide initiative to advance climate equity, which identified mapping as a key strategy to support ongoing campaigns to keep fossil fuels underground. While the initial CAMP map visualized the Amazon Basin, the project is being expanded to cover the entire Americas.

Who made these maps?

The CAMP maps were developed by a team of graduate student and faculty researchers at University of Arizona. The research team is lead by Dr. Tracey Osborne, Director of the Public Political Ecology Lab. Dr. Osborne has expertise in climate change mitigation, carbon markets and the role of indigenous peoples in forest-based carbon offset projects. The research team is committed to promoting a socially just response to climate change that respects the lands and sovereignty of indigenous peoples. Learn more about the research team.

Where is the map data from?

Data for the map comes from a variety of sources including nonprofit research collaboratives, academic projects, and government bureaus. The important source for the Amazon map is RAISG (Red Amazónica de Información Socioambiental Georreferenciada), a coalition of NGOs based in Amazonian countries that created a map and extensive report called Amazon Under Pressure. Their approach and research are crucial for the successful creation of the CAMP Amazon Basin Map.

Below are short descriptions of the data used for each layer, followed by a full list of data sources for each map layer and country. Note: all data sources are also listed in the pop-up window that appears when you click on a layer.

Amazon Basin Map

Amazon Basin Extent

CAMP uses an extent for the Amazonian Basin that has been used in several other similar maps. This extent was created by The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund.

Indigenous Territories

CAMP uses data for Indigenous Territories that are available, which varies by country. In some countries, the data included traditional territories that are not recognized by the government. ln other countries, the data we collected only shows the territories that are recognized by the national government. In most cases, our map follows the Indigenous territories displayed on the RAISG map, which include some territories not recognized by national governments.

Conservation Areas

Designations of protected areas vary between countries. While we generally used national maps of conservation and protected areas, there will be inconsistencies (for example, one country might include privately owned conservation allotments and another only public). We attempted to include both federally and regionally administered conservation areas where data were available.

Fossil Fuel Reserves

Aside from seven geological reserves mapped by the 2014 USGS Global Petroleum Assessment, fossil fuel reserves refer to blocks of land with existing leases for oil and gas development. CAMP data for fossil fuel reserves in most of the Western Amazon come from Matt Finer, a researcher with the Amazon Conservation Association. His data is generally from government sources and designated oil and gas developments in two categories: areas under current production and areas in the processes of licensing and exploration. While there are differences in how permitting is performed across countries, CAMP categorizes development blocks as either existing or proposed. In some cases leases in the Western Amazon have been updated with more current data obtained directly from government websites. Data for fossil fuel production in Brazil come for the Brazilian Petroleum Agency.


Amazonian Basin Extent: The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund, derived from the Freshwater Ecoregions of the World dataset by Paulo Petry and shared by Matt Finer.

Fossil Fuel Geological Reserves: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2014 Global Petroleum Assessment, Latin America Undiscovered Oil Reserves


Fossil Fuel Reserves: Agencia Nacional do Petróleo (ANP)

Indigenous Territories: Instituto Socioambiental (ISA, coordinator of RAISG)

Conservation Areas: Instituto Socioambiental (ISA, coordinator of RAISG)


Indigenous Territories: RAISG (hand digitized)

Conservation Areas: Provita (RAISG member)


Fossil Fuel Reserves: Amazon Conservation Association

Indigenous Territories: RAISG (hand digitized)

Conservation Areas: Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment (MAE)


Fossil Fuel Reserves:  Amazon Conservation Association

Indigenous Territories: GeoBolivia

Conservation Areas: GeoBolivia


Fossil Fuel Reserves:  Amazon Conservation Association

Indigenous Territories: Instituto de Bien Común

Conservation Areas: Peruvian Ministry of the Environment: National Service for Natural and Protected Areas (SERNANP)


Fossil Fuel Reserves: Sistema de información geográfica para la planeación y el ordenamiento territorial (SIGOT) with support from Gaia Amazonas, Colombia (RAISG member)

Indigenous Territories: Sistema de información geográfica para la planeación y el ordenamiento territorial (SIGOT), with support from Gaia Amazonas, Colombia (RAISG member)

Conservation Areas: Parques Nacionales de Colombia, with support from Gaia Amazonas, Colombia (RAISG member)


BIA Indian Lands

National Atlas of the United States (NAUS), retrieved 9/11/15. Indian lands are areas with boundaries established by treaty, statute, and (or) executive or court order, recognized by the Federal Government as territory in which American Indian tribes have primary governmental authority. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is responsible for the administration and management of 55.7 million acres of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives, and maintains a list of the 562 Federally recognized tribal governments. This layer only show areas of 640 acres or more.

US Federal Public Lands

U.S. Geological Survey, retrieved 5/1/17. The Federal Lands of the United States map layer shows those lands owned or administered by the Federal Government, including the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and other agencies. Only areas of 640 acres or more are included. Descriptive information includes the name and type of the Federal land and the administering agency. There may be private inholdings within the boundaries of the Federal lands in this map layer. This layer only show areas of 640 acres or more.

Power Plants

U.S. Energy Information Administration, retrieved 5/3/17. Includes operable electric generating plants in the United States by energy source. This includes all plants that are operating, on standby, or short- or long-term out of service with a combined nameplate capacity of 1 MW or more.


U.S. Energy Information Administration, retrieved 5/3/17. Includes major crude oil, HGL, natural gas and petroleum product pipelines in the United States. Layer includes interstate trunk lines and selected intrastate lines. Based on publicly available data from a variety of sources with varying scales and levels of accuracy. This layer is not visible if zoomed in beyond 1:1,000,000 scale.

Oil and Gas Spills

Federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), processed by the CAMP Team and Richard Stover. Last updated 8/31/17. Includes PHMSA “Flagged Incidents” data for five types of system spills with different timeframes, 1984-present. Some spill locations are approximate. For spills that lacked spatial coordinates in the original data, spills are displayed at a random point within the county where the spill took place. Spills without a county listed in the original data were not included in this map. This map only shows spills that are categorized as “Significant” by PHMSA, meaning they resulted in fatality, injury, fire, explosion, total property damage $50K or more in 1984 dollars, non-HVL loss >= 50bbls, HVL loss >= 5bbls.


Rivers, streams and other water bodies are drawn for ESRI data layers. For more information view ESRI’s USA Detailed Streams and USA Water Bodies.


Stories that appear on this map have been submitted using ESRI’s Crowdsource web application (beta version). Anyone can submit a story by visiting the Toward Climate Justice web app on the CAMP project website. The Crowdsource web app is still being developed by ESRI and functionality may change.

What does _____ in the data mean?

Energy infrastructure can be hard to understand, and we realize that some of the data layers and information in the pop-ups can be confusing. Below we explain some basic terms and categories you might encounter on the CAMP maps.

Oil and Gas Pipeline Spills (USA Map)

The CAMP USA Map shows two general types of energy pipelines:

  1. Liquid petroleum pipelines (or “Oil Pipelines”)
  2. Natural gas pipelines (“Gas Distribution” and “Gas Transmission”)

Oil pipelines can carry lots of different types of oil that you will see listed in the pop-ups when you click on a spill. These include:

  • Crude oil from both gathering and transmission lines.
  • Refined petroleum products like gasoline, diesel, jet fuel or home heating oil.
  • Highly volatile liquids like ethane, butane or propane. HVLs are liquids that turn to gas once exposed to the atmosphere.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2), which is used to enhance oil recovery.

Oil pipelines carry crude oil from the ground to refineries, and they also carry these refined oil products (listed above) from refineries to large fuel terminals with storage tanks. Tanker trucks then transport oil products from storage facilities to gas stations and homes. However, major industries like airports and electrical power generation plants are supplied directly by pipeline.

Natural gas pipelines are organized somewhat differently than oil pipelines. Because natural gas is delivered directly to homes and business, the CAMP USA Map shows both transmission and distribution pipelines. Transmission pipelines transport natural gas thousands of miles between large facilities, while distribution lines bring that gas directly to homes and businesses.

To learn more about oil and gas pipelines in the U.S., we recommend you visit the PHMSA’s Pipeline Basics page. The website Pipelines 101 is also a useful resource.

Why is _____ missing from the maps?

In its initial phase, the CAMP map has only been developed to cover the extent of the Amazon Basin and the United States of America. The project is a work in progress and will be expanded to the entire Americas at a later stage. Aside from the digital stories, the maps are based on secondary data that CAMP acquired from reliable research and government sources. However, as with all data there could be errors and there are limitations and gaps to what can be included.

The data we visualize are also dynamic and its possible things have changed since the data was last collected. Oil and gas projects sometimes evolve quickly and the maps shown here may not show the full extent of developments. Indigenous territories are also recognized with varying degrees of formality and the CAMP map may not show the full extent recognized by a community in the present moment.

Please contact us if you think you’ve found an error on the maps.

Who funded this project?

Research and website development for the Climate Alliance Mapping Project were initially supported by funding from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. The Switzer Foundation’s mission is to support environmental leaders and initiatives that improve environmental quality.

The project also received support from the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona and the Gaia Fund.

Has this project been translated?

You can view most of the website content in Spanish using a button in the upper-right corner of the page. The website was translated before we added the USA version of the map, so content related to the USA map is unfortunately only available in English at this time. It is a priority to have the entire site available in English, Spanish and Portuguese so that it is easily accessible for users across the Americas. In the mean time, please contact us if you’d like to discuss the project in another language. 

How can I learn more about this project?

CAMP is an ongoing project. For more information please contact Tracey Osborne (

Why do the USA and Amazon maps look different?

The Amazon Map was created using a custom Google platform that we built in collaboration with a local web developer in Tucson, Arizona. Since CAMP was first envisioned in 2014, ESRI (makers of ArcGIS software) expanded a suite of Story Mapping tools that we used more recently to create the USA Map. The USA and Amazon Basin maps are therefore contained in different platforms as we decide which best supports the project. Going forward, we plan to bring all the CAMP data and stories together in a single Americas-wide climate justice story map.