Conditions on CER-regulated energy projects / Conditions assorties aux projets énérgetiques réglementés par la régie by Canada Energy Regulator

Conditions is an interactive visualization that responds to the challenge of making “regulator-speak” engaging and informative to non-expert audiences. Mixing playful interactions and scaffolded reveals, the visualization aims to entice visitors to learn about an important regulatory tool for preventing harm and promoting safety and environmental protection: conditions.

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) is a regulatory body that oversees federal energy infrastructure projects such as oil and gas pipelines. Its regulatory framework is made of laws, regulations, requirements, and guidance. Conditions are project-specific requirements that a company must complete to be allowed to construct, operate, or abandon a project. Conditions can relate to themes such as environmental protection, integrity management, safety management, and more.

The language of conditions is a barrier to understanding for those not already familiar with regulatory processes. Conditions is designed to ease in the audience by revealing information in small doses and highlighting relevant metadata to pique interest and encourage exploration.

The visualization begins with a small, random set of conditions. Stripping away the legal jargon, only the most meaningful phrases are shown. Visitors bump into conditions to reveal phrases, searching for one that might catch their eye – be it “rare plant survey”, “pressure test”, or “caribou”. This serves to give a taste of the typical contents of conditions.

Choosing a condition takes visitors to the Company Wheel, where they can see the full text and context of the condition, including its theme, related conditions, and related projects. They can explore the company wheel alphabetically, by number of projects, or serendipitously – by pulling the lever to spin. Conditions can also be viewed by region and feature using the Location Wheel.

In addition to its permanent home on the CER website, Conditions has been used in public events at libraries. Displayed on a large interactive screen, the visualization mediates conversations between subject matter experts and the interested public.

This visualization was created as part of the CER’s Data Visualization Initiative, a three-year initiative using design-driven interactive visualizations to facilitate transparency and understanding of the CER’s data and to be a catalyst for a change in the organization’s data culture. The implementation of Conditions, which is updated daily, served as a powerful incentive for the organization to structure, prepare, and refine its dataset. The initiative brought together teams from the Canada Energy Regulator, the University of Calgary’s Interactions Lab, The Hester View, and Vizworx, Inc. It is published in on the CER’s website in both Canadian official languages. (Release date: October 2019; data updated daily).

  • Credits
    DATA VISUALIZATION: Lead Design Research: Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale and Dr. Wesley Willett, iLab, University of Calgary. Design Team: Bon Adriel Aseniero, Peter Buk, Christian Frisson, Tina Huynh, Lisa Hynes, Doris Kosminsky, Claudia Maurer, Richard Pusch, Sarah Storteboom, Markus Tessmann, Sonja Thoma, Jagoda Walny (Team Lead), and Mieka West. Lead Technical: VizworX Inc. Technical: Manali Bhattacharyya, Jorge Castano, Alan Chen, Charlie Cheung, Ben Cousins, Kaitlin de Chastelain Finnigan, Brandon Devaleriola, Joshua Johnsgaard, Spenser Jones, Rahul Kamal Bhaskar, Rachel Lee, and Adam Lovatt. DATA SOURCE: CER Project Working Group: Heather Dodds, Marcus Eyre, Kevin Hill and Lori-Ann Sharp CER Data Experts: Shirley Chan, Amélie Fortier, Grant Moss, Michelle Shabits and Tammy Walker ETL/Web Service: Phil Cheung, Curtis Raymond and Dwayne Croteau COORDINATION: Annette Hester (Concept and Coordination); Katherine Murphy (Project Manager); Amanda Harwood (Project Manager); Shane Mahar (Administrative Support)
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