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.

Amazon Web Services

Towards Zero Deforestation with GFW Pro

Hundreds of companies around the world have signed on to the United Nations (UC) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: Life on Land and pledged to work towards zero deforestation by 2020. However, meeting these commitments requires the ability monitor deforestation throughout their supply chains. Global Forest Watch Pro provides each organization a unique, secure environment to monitor and analyze these supply chains, and also helps these organizations demonstrate compliance with commitments and policies.

The application builds on the success of past GFW initiatives and leverages the comprehensive list of authoritative datasets curated by the World Resources institute. Data are served to the application from a variety of locations, such as ArcGIS Server, Amazon S3, and Carto DB. Users can upload lists of over 1,000 custom Areas of Interest (AOIs), which are quickly analyzed for deforestation on sensitive areas and by regional landcover types.  The application’s two diagnostics provide detailed historic deforestation measurements as well as industry specific risk scores. In addition, an alert dashboard provides real time monitoring capabilities and displays the latest GLAD Deforestation and VIIRS Fire alerts.

Supply Chain Analysis for Deforestation

 

GFW Pro leverages AWS Lambda to provide the intensive computational resources needed to quickly analyze these large custom lists while keeping costs as low as possible. Using the latest serverless technology, the application is quickly able to spin up as much compute power as needed to analyze each list, and then shut them down just as quickly. This allows the application to scale horizontally and processes thousands of user uploaded locations a day.

We are excited to see the impact GFW Pro will have on monitoring environmental impacts and global supply chains.

Conserve and Protect with The Land Trust Alliance

Since 1982, the Land Trust Alliance has supported conservation by providing its over 1,000 member land trusts with education programs, legal insurance, and a voice in Washington speaking for conservationists. With the Find a Land Trust Map, the Alliance gives individuals around the country a means of identifying local organizations working on conservation.

The Land Trust Alliance set out to update the map with a modern, intuitive user interface while maintaining the previous map’s search and filter functionality. Blue Raster’s design team worked through several rounds of design and conducted user testing to ensure that users would be able to quickly find land trusts in their area. By including key information about protection priorities, acres under protection, and Accreditation status, the map makes it easy to find the right land trust.

Members can update the status and information associated with each Land Trust easily. Blue Raster used the latest technology to grab user submissions daily by running a, automated Lambda script hosted on Amazon Web Services and publishing updates to the data hosted on ArcGIS Online.

 

Helping Secure Land Rights With LandMark

Blue Raster is proud to announce a major update to the LandMark interactive global mapping platform of community and indigenous lands. The original LandMark platform provided unprecedented information about the location of indigenous and community owned lands and the strength of legal protections available to these communities. The latest release builds upon that success by adding new functionality, upgrading back end processes to keep pace with latest technologies, and refreshing the design for an even better user experience. Working closely with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and a 13-member Steering Group, Blue Raster incorporated additional analysis capabilities, redesigned the map layout, added Python scripting to increase processing speeds, and integrated Amazon CloudFront to accelerate application performance.

LandMark Global Platform of Indigenous & Community Lands

We are very pleased to continue working with Blue Raster from the inception of LandMark in 2014 through this latest development phase. Their support has been instrumental in helping us towards our goal of becoming the go-to site for information on indigenous and community land rights globally.

— Katie Reytar, Senior Research Associate, WRI

The map’s new legend and navigation pane provide an intuitive and user-friendly way to explore indigenous & community land maps, country statistics, and legal security for these lands. The updated print function enables users to customize map views and export to a pdf, jpg, or png. Users can also generate location-specific reports by uploading shapefiles or drawing a polygon on the map. These reports include statistics on documentation, identity, and legal recognition of indigenous and community lands. Analysis is performed on the fly and the results can be exported for further study.

The ArcGIS JavaScript API, Highcharts, React JS, Python, and ES6 power the reports and mapping application. Be sure to visit the updated LandMark site today!

Peru Country Profile Page

New Paper Identifying Emerging Hot Spots of Deforestation

Blue Raster is proud to have worked with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Esri Big Data Team to co-author the study, Using Spatial Statistics to Identify Emerging Hot Spots of Forest Loss.

Published in Environmental Research Letters, the study lays out the data-analysis workflow Blue Raster developed to identify trends in tree-cover loss in Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between 2000 and 2014. Using Esri’s emerging hot spot analysis and big data analysis techniques, Blue Raster identified persistent, accelerating, and new hot spots of tree-cover loss, as well as cold spots of diminishing loss. New forest policies such as logging moratoria and incentives were linked with reduced forest clearing, whereas timber harvesting, road-building, and agricultural land clearing were associated with hot spots.

Techniques identified in the study will help decision makers, technical experts and the broader public better understand trends in deforestation and improve forest monitoring going forward. While the article focuses on Brazil, Indonesia, and the DRC, the methodology can be scaled for larger or smaller regions, as well as for different windows in time.

Accompanying the paper, Blue Raster produced maps of intensifying, sporadic, and new hot spots of deforestation for each area of interest. The visuals indicate a broad range of trends including:

  • Shifting spatiotemporal patterns of loss in Brazil, with forest loss significantly diminishing within the Amazonian states of Mato Grosso and Rondônia and intensifying within the cerrado biome;
  • New and statistically significant hot spots of forest loss in 2013 and 2014 in West Kalimanta, Indonesia; and
  • The emergence of vast areas of DRC as significant new hot spots of forest loss, with intensified loss radiating out from city centers such as Beni and Kisangani.

The release of the article coincides with the World Economic Forum, an event where 20 of the world’s largest commodity producers, traders, manufacturers, consultants, and retailers launched a new partnership with research institutions and banks to monitor deforestation and manage sustainability from farm to customer. The partnership, led by WRI’s Global Forest Watch team, will focus on building an online global decision-support tool that builds on the GFW Commodities platform to increase transparency and traceability across supply chains.

Read the full publication by WRI, Blue Raster, and Esri online at IOP Science.

Building a Prototype for FDA Food Data

In response to 18F’s challenge to build a next generation application using the openFDA API, Blue Raster developed the openFDA Enforcement Mapper. Our goal was to create a map-based dashboard showcasing food recalls across the United States. You can visually see how recalls affected different regions.  Here is a first look at how we built this rapid prototype.

2015-07-07

Another Blue Raster solution for Open Data Enterprise along with the Tracing Global Foods story map inspired the visual design. In the spirit of the challenge, five team members rapidly prototyped the application using Node.js and the latest HTML5/Javascript. The visualization pulls data from the openFDA API, gecodes food recalls by location and maps the impact across the United States.

The team carefully combined multiple technologies to power the app:

  1. Source code pre-processing: Babel, Jade and Stylus
  2. JavaScript ES6 & 7
  3. Amazon Web Services / EC2
  4. Node.js / Express
  5. Data Visualization: Chart.js
  6. React
  7. Flux
  8. Container: Docker
  9. Map interface: ArcGIS JavaScript API
  10. Jenkins

For full project documentation and code, visit our GitHub at github.com/blueraster/open-fda-map-viewer.
openFDA Enforcement Mapper


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