World Bank Georesults: Interactive Maps for Project Storytelling

Blue Raster and the World Bank Institute teamed up to create Georesults, an online mapping tool that allows users to learn about World Bank projects from an on-the-ground perspective via images, videos, and stories.

With this innovative tool, World Bank staff are able to document, contextualize, and share development solutions via interactive multimedia, an accessible alternative to conventional project reports that are often long and technical.

Georesults is an extension of the World Bank’s Mapping for Results initiative, founded in 2010, which aims to better monitor the impact of and offer local perspectives on Bank-financed aid projects at the sub-national level. Georesults’ interactive depictions of progress in local communities will help the World Bank track the effectiveness of its work and promote transparency and accountability.

“Inspired by our close collaboration with project managers and their teams, we ideated and are piloting this new approach of showing progress of World Bank results, connecting people to Georesults (beta) via the Mapping Platform,” said Aleem Walji, Director of Innovation Labs in WBI.”

Storytelling alternatives within the Georesults system include sequences of text and photos to illustrate events; before-and-after images that reveal results; and video clips offering an intimate peek into on-the-ground action. Users can browse project sites by location on a world map or search by project ID.

The concept is based on Esri StoryMaps, a platform for joining online mapping with interactive content. The application uses ArcGIS Online, Esri JavaScript API, Flickr, and YouTube. No programming or content management systems are required, so that World Bank staff can populate the system by uploading content to arcgis.com and tagging images using existing multimedia platforms.

 

WRI Tracks Nutrient Pollution in Coastal Waters

When the World Resources Institute (WRI) wanted to draw attention to nutrient pollution of coastal waters, they turned to Blue Raster to develop an interactive website and GIS application to depict and track this growing problem.  The central feature of the WRI’s Eutrophication and Hypoxia: Nutrient Pollution in Coastal Waters website is an interactive map, which combines geographic, environmental, and time-lapse data.

Within the past 50 years, eutrophication—the over-enrichment of water by nutrients such as nitrogen phosphorus—has emerged as one of the leading causes of water quality impairment.  Eutrophication can result in hypoxia (or oxygen depletion), which can destroy aquatic life and create dead zones in coastal regions. “Until now, a lack of information and monitoring has been a major impediment to understanding the extent and impacts of ‘dead zones’ and eutrophication in coastal ecosystems,” said Mindy Selman, senior water quality analyst at WRI.  “This website is an important step forward because it compiles the current information into a central location to raise awareness and offer solutions for controlling nutrient pollution.”

Blue Raster developed the user-friendly application using ArcGIS Server and Flex API to create a comprehensive look at historical and recent eutrophic and hypoxic events around the world.  The interactive map allows users to investigate 762 coastal areas around the globe that have been affected by eutrophication and hypoxia. The data, which was compiled by analysts at WRI and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, includes 479 sites identified as experiencing hypoxia, 55 sites that once experienced hypoxia but are now improving, and 228 sites that experience other symptoms of eutrophication, including algal blooms, species loss, and impacts to coral reef assemblages.

Using Flickr, YouTube and Delicious, Blue Raster provided users with the ability to access and share other resources on eutrophication and hypoxia, including publications, photographs, and video.  The site also allows users to provide updates to the maps and databases based on their knowledge of local coastal water conditions. To learn more about nutrient pollution in coastal waters please visit http://www.wri.org/project/eutrophication/map.