Our Work

Blue Raster helps you tell your story through interactive
mapping technology. Make your message clear, exciting,
and user-friendly for both mobile and web platforms.

Agriculture

Mapping America’s Wine Growing Regions

Wine Country

Have you ever wondered where your wine comes from? Did you know that there are hundreds of distinct wine regions in the United States? Since 2017, Blue Raster has been working with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to map over 270 of America’s Viticultural Areas (AVA) in GIS. Blue Raster then developed the AVA Map Explorer, a web mapping application to view, compare and download AVA boundaries.

Viticultural areas are designated grape-growing regions with distinguishable geographic features with boundaries defined by TTB. TTB is part of the U.S. Treasury and overseas regulation and tax collection on the sales of alcohol and tobacco. A map library with thousands of marked-up USGS topographic maps to written boundary instructions called the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 27 CFR Part 9 is the official record and only way to view an AVA.

Example of CFR entry.

Working with SJ Technologies, the team started the conversion from paper to GIS by creating points for each CFR description in a Viticultural Area. Then, using industry-accepted national datasets including U.S. Census administrative boundaries and roads, and USGS contours and the National Hydrography Dataset, the connected CFR points form viticultural boundaries.

TTB_Digitizing

Larger viticultural areas may be drawn on over forty separate paper maps in the maps library. In digital format the number of paper maps is no longer an issue. The new approach allowed for the team to provide an extremely detailed product to TTB that was easily consumable. The ability to zoom in on complex areas or view an entire viticultural area on one screen had previously been impossible.

AVAs boundaries can be extremely detailed, but might not seem so when viewing at the full extent.

Zoom in to see just how detailed the AVA boundaries are.

Boundaries follow hydrographic and contour lines.

AVA Map Explorer

With over 270 AVAs mapped, Blue Raster developed the AVA Map Explorer. This easy to use application helps TTB staff with wine labeling, vineyards petitioning for inclusion in an existing or proposed AVA, and the public to learn more about where their wine comes from. Additionally, users can search AVAs by name, address, State and County filters, or simply by panning around and exploring. Because many AVAs have overlapping boundaries, the ability to compare AVAs was critical. Contained within a popup is information about overlapping AVAs, effective dates, and geographic extent. From the popup users can also link to the CFR, which is still the official record, view the public docket of petitions and rulings, and download the shapefile of the AVA.

More than just Napa and Sonoma counties in California, wine growing regions exist all across the United States.

Zoom in to see just how detailed the AVA boundaries are. Popups show how AVA's contain and overlapp with others.

In places with heavy overlap, it’s possible to add AVA's to a list to compare boundaries.

Learn more about wine in your area with the American Viticultural Area Map Explorer. Cheers!

Public Gardens on Display in Washington, DC

Last month, over 1,000 public horticulture enthusiasts attended the American Public Gardens Association annual conference in Washington, DC. Blue Raster was proud to be a conference sponsor and presenter at the GIS for Public Gardens: Enterprise Configurations workshop. Christopher Gabris, Blue Raster's Project Manager for Public Gardens, was pleased to show our recent work in the community including:

The conference included a walking tour of the Smithsonian and U.S. Botanical Gardens on the National Mall. Also, it featured an evening at U.S. National Arboretum with a Tour and Reception.

Blue Raster is continuing to serve public gardens in their mission to be inclusive for all and indispensable to the community. You can learn more about our capabilities and ongoing projects at https://www.blueraster.com/gardens/.

Ready to find out more?

Contact us today to get started on your next project!

Using Drones to Advance Turfgrass Science at Green-Wood Cemetery

Last month, Blue Raster’s drone capabilities took flight. In a new initiative with Green-Wood Cemetery, Cornell University, and a group of turfgrass experts from across the United States, Blue Raster is using drones to help advance the science for confronting climate change in an urban landscape.

The issue at hand is the rapid spread of warm-season invasive grass species that impacts the aesthetics of the cemetery. This results in adaptive preventative maintenance practices and high costs to keep the cemetery looking beautiful. The group is studying alternatives and strategies that put Green-Wood on the cutting edge of urban climate change mitigation. This research is also applicable to any urban parks, public gardens, cemeteries and golf courses.

"Turf Guy" Dr. Frank Rossi of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University and Christopher Gabris from Blue Raster looking at high resolution drone imagery captured the day before

“Turf Guy” Dr. Frank Rossi of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University and Christopher Gabris from Blue Raster looking at high resolution drone imagery captured the day before

To study the spread of invasive grass throughout the year, Blue Raster flew a series of drone missions over the sprawling 478 acre cemetery. When additional missions fly for comparison, the data capture will provide high quality imagery that will identify invasive grass for measurement and monitoring throughout the year. Visit our Facebook album for more of the amazing aerial pictures.

Green-wood drone pictures

Using Esri’s Drone2Map and ArcGIS Online Web Scenes, Blue Raster was also able to deliver some 3D products, including the iconic gateway entrance and some large mausoleums.

Drone 3D imagery of iconic entrance

Stay tuned for updates on the project, the analysis, and the results of this very exciting turfgrass study!

Blue Raster attends the American Public Gardens Association Annual Conference

Blue Raster works with multiple public gardens and arboreta to develop web and mobile applications. These apps help to interactively map robust plant collections for the public, and provide workflows for internal facility and maintenance teams to work more efficiently.

This June, Blue Raster was a presenter at the American Public Gardens Association’s annual conference. Presenting alongside the Alliance for Public Gardens GIS, the presentation focused on Enterprise Configurations and GIS solutions for public gardens. Blue Raster was proud to present our recent work with the U.S. National Arboretum and the development of their mobile application, as well as automated field mobility workflows for plant maintenance and monument restoration tasks at Green-Wood Cemetery.

APGA Conference photo

APGA Conference photo

Hosted at the Disneyland Hotel in Southern California, the conference was a great opportunity to see how public gardens across the world are uniquely attracting visitors, storing their plant data and historic records, and collaborating with each other. A special behind-the-scenes tour with Disneyland arborists and a trip to The Getty Museum in Los Angeles were just some of the amazing events during the week.

Is your garden interested in mapping your plant collections? Do you want to take your visitor experience to the next level with a mobile application? Blue Raster is experienced with plant data and workflows. Each project is custom-designed to fit your specific needs. Learn more about our workflows how we can help you.

APGA Conference photo

Mapping for a World Without Malnutrition

Driven by the vision of a world without malnutrition, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Blue Raster worked to release the latest version of the Malnutrition Mapping Project (MalMap). This interactive mapping application provides mapping and analysis tools for multiple stressors of malnutrition. From start to finish, users can explore factors that enable malnutrition such as poverty levels and population density, access to basic water, and development outcomes such as percentages of deaths due to diabetes and rates of low birth weight.

The expansion of this project includes the addition of 33 new indicators, and a comprehensive update to the existing 40 indicators. Not only can you display and compare these indicators worldwide, but users can analyze these variables to see which countries are exceeding set thresholds for each indicator. The analysis allows users to also focus in on which countries are exceeding a set threshold for all the indicators, with no limit on the number of indicators that can be cross compared. This allows stakeholders to drill down into the data like never before and focus on directing aid and funding where there is most need.

All of the data in this application is hosted on ArcGIS Online, a scalable cloud-based platform that allows for future expansion of the maps.  The framework for the application was upgraded to the latest React providing a clean, easy-to-navigate interface.

 

 


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