FrackFinder: Tracking Our Progress

Last week we officially launched FrackFinder, a crowdsourced skytruthing project to find, map and track natural gas fracking sites. The first stage of the effort, Project TADPOLE, focuses on the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania. Using data from drilling permits for fracking sites in PA and aerial survey photography taken by the National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP), we ask volunteers to identify what they see at each fracking site over a 5 year period. Thanks to an article the Washington Post published about our work here at SkyTruth, FrackFinder has been getting a lot of attention!

Within one week of the article’s release, Project TADPOLE gained 84 volunteer participants and jumped from 10% complete to 52%; that’s over 35,000 tasks (number of times an image is viewed by a volunteer) completed in one week. Of the 84 volunteers, 31 participated anonymously. Our anonymous volunteers averaged 49 tasks per person, and volunteers who chose not to work anonymously averaged 630. Impressively, several volunteers have completed thousands of tasks!

Progress of Project TADPOLE by county.

To keep everyone updated on the status of Project TADPOLE, we’ve created an interactive map that illustrates the progression of the project. The completion status for each county is measured independently and color coded accordingly. It is sort of exciting watching the counties change color as we move toward the finish line! Of this stage, that is.
We’ll soon need to prepare for the next stage of FrackFinder… TREE FROG?
 Stay tuned!