ArcGIS Online

Map in a minute: Map pipelines using ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Living Atlas

The news has recently focused on the ransomware attack of Colonial Pipeline, which stretches 5,500 miles from Texas to New Jersey. The cyberattack left gas scarce, with prices rising, and airlines vulnerable, with several saying they would send jet fuel to the region by air to ensure that service would not be disrupted.

Colonial Pipeline, which operates the main gas artery along the East Coast, recently shut down the pipeline after discovering ransomware on its computer systems. The FBI blamed the attack on a group called Darkside.


Make a pipeline map

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World includes authoritative live feeds and other content that helps you learn more about current events and U.S. infrastructure. Follow these steps to make your own pipeline map in a minute (or less), using Living Atlas content and filters to focus on the Colonial Pipeline.

Step 1 — Sign in to your ArcGIS account and open Map Viewer. The Layers tab should be selected, as shown below. Click Add layer.

Add layer

Choose Living Atlas from the Add layer drop-down.

Living Atlas search

Step 2 — Enter “pipeline” in search to locate Petroleum Products Pipelines. Click (+) to add it to the map.

Search "pipeline"

Tip: To learn more about any layer, click the layer title to View item details.

View item details

From the Petroleum Products Pipelines item details we can learn that the layer is a feature layer from the Energy Information Association (EIA). The layer publishes pipeline information for major petroleum pipelines in the United States, including pipelines that carry refined petroleum products – gasoline, jet fuel, home heating oil, and diesel fuel.

Step 3 — Click the left arrow at the top of the Add layer panel to return to the map contents.

Return to map contents

Step 4 — Check to ensure that the Petroleum Products Pipelines layer is selected. If you are authoring a new map, this step won’t be necessary and the layer should already be selected. If you are adding the layer to an existing map, click the layer to select it. The selected layer displays a blue highlight bar on the left.

Select layer

Step 5 — In the properties panel on the right, click Filter.


Step 6 — Click Add expression to add a new filter.

Add expression

Step 7 — Construct an expression using the attribute Opername and select COLONIALPIPELINE CO from the dropdown list of field values. The expression is Opername is COLONIALPIPELINE CO.


Step 8 — When finished, click Save.

Save expression

Step 9 — Your map is finished, but you can adjust the layer style to your liking. In the properties panel on the right, click Styles.

Layer style

Step 10 — Click Style options.

Style options

Step 11 — Click the pencil to edit the style.

Edit style

Step 12 — Select a color you like. In this example purple has been chosen as the line color.

Line color

Step 13 — Adjust the line width. Click Stroke to open the options and set the width and optionally review other settings. In this example, a width of 2.5 has been selected.

Adjust line width

You can experiment with colors, line width, different basemaps, and other settings until you get the desired results for your final map. In the map shown below, the basemap is the Charted Territories basemap and the Colonial Pipeline is shown in purple with a line width of 2.

Colonial Pipeline map

You can quickly create an application showcasing your map using any of the instant apps or configurable app templates.


More information

For more information, see the following:

About the author

Corporate tech evangelist and senior principal product manager at Esri, focusing on ways to broaden access to geographic information and helping users succeed with the ArcGIS online system. On a good day I'm making a map, on a great day I'm on one. Follow @bernszukalski or email


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