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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

The Infographic extensions in this series can be found at

1. Let's Make Movies

2. Economy and Environment

3. Frequent Flyers

The Canadian Oil Sands

According to official US government data, Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the United States by a considerable margin.  A large part of this oil originates from the Canadian oil sands, which are primarily found in the province of Alberta.    Besides the economic benefit to Canada and the United States, the oil sands are also associated with an environmental cost for extracting this oil.

This infographic-style visualization uses two different visualization extensions along with built-in SAP Lumira charts to tell one part of the Oil Sands story.    Data sources, source and download links are at the bottom of this posting.

Thanks to Xing Jin at SAP for helping update the sample to the latest version of Lumira, and to Sebastian and Kelly from the IBM Lab for SAP Solutions for developing the code and visualizations.

Economic Benefit

The first infographic-style visualization shows the one economic benefit of the oil sands in the form of predicted jobs created in the United States over fifteen years, according to US and Canadian government data.  This horizontal bar chart replaces the solid bar color with a custom image.

The second visualization is an area chart showing the predicted impact to the US GDP.  It shows that the most significant predicted jobs benefit is to the American Midwest.

Environmental Impact

The second half of the Infographic describes the environmental cost of producing the oil.  The visualization extension uses a series of taps to show how much water has been consumed from 2002 to 2012.  The blue bar represents fresh water, and the small green bar is brackish water.  Two key points we can see are that water consumption dramatically expanded in 2005; and that in 2012, 183 million cubic meters of fresh water consumed by oil sands operators.

The final part of the infographic is a Lumira donut chart showing greenhouse emissions in 2012 in Canada by industrial sector.    This chart puts into perspective that oil sands produces slightly more greenhouse gases than agriculture, but less than electricity and heat generation.  Fossil fuel production without oil sands produces the most industrial greenhouse emissions in Canada.

Switching to the “Compose” tab in SAP Lumira, the four charts are brought together to tell a single story.  The left side of the Infographic gives two stories about the economic benefit of the Oil Stands; the center section is a description of the oil sands and the process to extract oil.

Source Material

Source code, sample data and completed Lumira visualization file are available here.

Deployment instructions:

1. Download and Unzip into a temporary directory

2. Copy the “Oil Sands.lum” file into the “My Documents\SAP Lumira Documents” folder

3. Unzip into C:\Program Files\SAP Lumira\Desktop\extensions, so your folder looks similar to the picture below:

Data Sources

Government of Alberta:

Government of Canada Joint OilSands Monitoring:

US Energy Information Administration: