Tutorial: Using the Watch the Line Map

Watch the Line Project Map

Watch the Line’s project map depicts the road and water crossings along the Line 3 route, and can be a valuable resource for volunteers and the general public:

  • Watch the Line volunteer monitors can reference the map before and during a monitoring trip to become familiar with their surroundings and navigate between observation sites.
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about Line 3 can reference our map to better understand where construction is happening and its proximity to critical water resources and habitats.

We have created a video tutorial which goes over the key map features.

Read on for a summary of the video tutorial.

understanding the markers

The Watch the Line project map is organized around unique markers, which represent different points of interest along or near the construction route:

Road Crossings: Blue, upside-down tear drop shapes denote places where the Line 3 route crosses a public road. These markers are colored yellow when located within a dispersal zone for the rusty-patched bumble bee.
Access Roads and Vantage Points: These markers look the same as road crossings, but will not be directly on the construction route. Instead, they identify entrance to access roads (which may or may not be for public use) or vantage points that are helpful to know when exploring the area.
Water Crossings: Circle shapes with wave lines indicate places where the route impacts a water body (stream, river, lake, etc.).
Water crossings where horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is planned are colored purple, and have two accompanying markers for the drilling entry and exit points (when known):
Off-Route Locations: House icons mark locations near the route, most commonly pipe and equipment storage yards.
Wild Rice Habitat: Green plant icons denote known wild rice habitats close to the Line 3 route.

If you click on a particular marker, you can view some additional information about it, such as its name, a brief description (which can include notes unique to the location), GPS coordinates, and a link to its corresponding folder in Watch the Line’s observation images drive. There you can view all of the photographs and videos that our volunteers have collected from that site.

Example of marker information panel

Each marker has its own unique name (or marker ID code), a set of letters and numbers. For road crossings, the letters correspond to the county (e.g., ‘CA’ is Carlton County, ‘SL’ is St. Louis County, and so on). Access Road markers are coded as ‘AR’, water crossings as ‘WX’ or the name of the water body, and off-route locations as ‘SY’. The numbers in the IDs are somewhat arbitrary and do not have significance.

Rather than memorize these naming conventions, just remember that all of Watch the Line’s observations are organized by these marker IDs. Therefore, the map is an essential reference for understanding where each observation was made.

finding the markers

The easiest way to find a specific marker is to use the search function. The markers are also organized into various layers that you can turn on and off (using the check boxes next to the layer names), depending on what you would like to make visible. The layers are listed in the map legend, and include the following:

  • Neighboring Counties
  • Pipeline Route
  • Off-Route Locations
  • Water Crossings
  • Construction Spreads – These spreads are geographical areas that Enbridge used to divide the project into sections. There are six spreads in total, numbered from the North Dakota border in the northwest (Spread 1A) to the Wisconsin border in the east (Spread 5). Within these layers you will find the road crossing and access road markers.
Enbridge’s construction zones, or “spreads”


There are some things to remember about the map:

  • It is a living map, and our team is constantly working to make it more useful and user-friendly. So if something looks different, that’s why.
  • The map may look a little different and have slightly different functionality depending on the device you are using. We have captured some basic instructions for using the map on your mobile device.  

Do you have questions? Or maybe a suggestion for improving the map? You can always email us at watchthelinemn@gmail.com.