General Guidelines

Below you will find a set of tutorial videos with instructions on how to enter the data you have chosen to share. Please note that:


  • We would like you to enter as much data as you have, but we do not expect every person to have access to the complete list of data we are collecting.

  • We would also like to be able to verify your data and have provided you with a place to enter the Source and Year from which your data originates. This is very important in our effort to separate useable from non-useable information.

  • We do "sanity" checks on numerical values entered in the background and will warn you if entries appear to be internally inconsistent. Please make every attempt to review what you have entered so that consistency can be achieved.

  • We have included lots of information bubbles and links along the way, so you have much that you can learn about power plants, how they function, how to calculate CO2 emissions, etc. Please read through them as time and interest permit.

  • Video tutorial on new power plant data entry procedure

    Video tutorial on refinements to existing power plant data entry procedure


    What you see as power plant data on this map represents the best combination of information initially available to us.

    1) Publicly disclosed data that can be used and understood. This is mainly in the US, Canada, South Africa, India, and the European Union (we have locational information from Australia).

    2) Given that there are likely ~30000 power plants in the world burning fossil fuel, this wasn’t something that could be done in my lab ( though we tried for a semester with diligent undergrads!). The problem is simply too large and too ambiguous in many cases. Local knowledge is essential.

    3) A predictive model build from regressing a much larger power plant station listing (The WEPP database) to the above-mentioned publicly disclosed data. This is both difficult to do and generates very inaccurate information about both location and emissions. But, we can quantify uncertainty and this is good. We thank the folks at CARMA for the early steps on this method.

    4) Sometimes you will find a mixture of this information within a single country.


    1) We recommend first focusing on a country you know or have access to data about. However, correcting locations in any country from any country is possible with careful work using Google Earth and web-surfing for power plant information. The only locational information we are given is the nearest city (which our friends at CARMA geolocated).

    2) Remember: most large power plants need large amounts of water. Hence, they are often on the coastline or adjacent to lakes or rivers. If they are coal-fired (the majority of large facilities), a large pile of black coal is and obvious feature in google earth.

    3) Provide as much documentation, proof as you can regarding the information you are supplying. Though this is a game, the intent and use of the information is serious and documentation or a link or a picture or geotag record, helps us prioritize information as we review and organize the data you are helping us with.

    4) Have fun – do it with friends and compete with them. Link to your facebook account. Follow us on twitter at @Ventus_Project or @carbonczar use #ventusco2