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.

ArcGIS Image Extension for Server

Solving the Water Balance Equation for California

Drought has been a significant concern throughout much of the western U.S., threatening the livelihood of farmers and communities across several states. When years of drought stretch on, groundwater pumping often becomes the most viable option for the agriculture sector, leading to a negative water-balance and increasingly sparse water availability. Local water authorities are scrambling to recharge the groundwater supplies for their districts’ agricultural needs.

Fortunately, a new tool for their arsenal is now available – the Groundwater Recharge Assessment Tool (GRAT), developed in partnership with The Earth Genome and Sustainable Conservation. Through a prioritized use of dedicated recharge basins, fallow field recharge, and on-farm recharge sites, it may be possible to balance the water budget and reverse the damage caused by years of over-pumping. On-farm recharge is a relatively new approach and requires an understanding of what crops are being grown, and how flood-year waters could be applied during select weeks of the year when high-flow water is available. Currently much of that water runs off the landscape and eventually into the ocean, but on-farm recharge may provide the key to capturing that water by recharging underlying aquifers.

To calculate the best use of on-farm recharge and the impact on the water budget, GRAT allows irrigation districts to run an unlimited number of wet-year scenarios, ranking of field types based on soil and crop characteristics, and detailed cost calculations.

Setting detailed criteria requirements helps to optimize the selection of sites based on an irrigation district’s individual needs. Weighted indexes are calculated dynamically using a number of geophysical variables linked to each criteria.

GRAT allows the automated selection of sites up to a target recharge volume or cost ceiling, and then the manual removal or selection of additional sites based on local expert knowledge.

Advanced, dynamic charting gives real-time updates of groundwater balance and estimated costs based on selected sites. Once the balance has been reached, the option to save the plan can be used to share results with decision makers throughout the district.

GRAT was co-created in collaboration with Madera Irrigation District and Tulare Irrigation District.  It is also now being rolled out to other interested Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in California, to support their Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) reporting requirements.

 

A New Chapter on Tsunami Design

New design provisions for tsunami loads and effects have been developed by the ASCE 7 Tsunami Loads and Effects Subcommittee (TLESC), and are included in the just-released 2016 edition of the internationally recognized loading standard ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE/SEI 7-16). This resource and accompanying data was developed over a 34-month period by a subcommittee of almost 30 members, along with the contributions and review of numerous other state, national, and international stakeholders. To provide the authoritative distribution of this tsunami design information, Blue Raster and the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE have created the ASCE Tsunami Design Geodatabase application.

Offshore Tsunami Amplitude Analysis

The ASCE Tsunami Design Geodatabase application provides insight into the first national, consensus-based standard for tsunami resilience for use in the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. Structural engineers are already being asked to incorporate tsunami-resilient designs in various critical building and facility structures in the five western states, The profession and the affected communities now have a comprehensive consensus on loading and design standards for buildings and other structures.

Transect of Elevation

The new tsunami design zone maps define the coastal zones where structures of specified risk would be designed for tsunami resistance. Easy access to this data through the ASCE Tsunami Design Geodatabase application is imperative for the resiliency of our coastal infrastructure.

Keeping America’s Infrastructure Safe with ASCE

Blue Raster and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) are pleased to announce the launch of the ASCE 7 Hazard Tool, to accompany the just-released 2016 edition of the internationally recognized loading standard ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE/SEI 7-16). This tool is designed to provide users with environmental loading limit information for infrastructure based on location and risk category. For example, how much ice thickness must a school be able to safely carry in Minnesota? To what level of tsunami inundation will a hospital need to be elevated in California? To find out, the new ASCE 7 Hazard Tool provides a single destination for quickly retrieving your choice of hazard data, including:

  • basic wind speed
  • seismic accelerations
  • flood zone and base flood elevation
  • ground snow load
  • rain load
  • tsunami-load risk
  • ice thickness

A full downloadable PDF report of all variables selected is also available for incorporation into site studies or building construction documents.

The fully functional site will be available to paid subscribers only (following the initial Beta period), however, wind and tsunami data will be available to all to show site functionality and utility. Make the ASCE 7 Hazard Tool the first stop for new infrastructure construction in America, and help keep us safe from environmental hazards.

Global Fires Analyzed by Country

Produced in partnership with the World Resources Institute, the recently updated Global Forest Watch Fires (GFW Fires) is an online platform for monitoring and responding to forest and land fires using near-real-time information. GFW Fires empowers people to better respond to harmful fires before they burn out of control, holding accountable those who may have burned forests illegally.

With the most recent release of GFW Fires, users can explore fire events for every country around the world over the last five years — using two sensor products: VIIRS and MODIS. Fire history, cumulative fires to date, and a statistical analysis by administrative boundaries allow great insight into fire events within a country or around the world.

Fire Report for Tanzania

Be sure to check out your country of interest at GFW Fires, and see how technology is harnessed to address a major global concern.

 

Visualizing Evolution of Atmospheric Deposition

Blue Raster launches the Critical Loads Mapper for the Environmental Protection Agency, the latest tool in a collection of EPA’s Global-Change-Explorer platform. This interactive web application analyzes atmospheric deposition from Nitrogen and Sulfur. Despite abundance in atmosphere and aquatic ecosystems, an excess of Nitrogen can cause significant environmental and health issues, leading to economic impacts across communities. Sulfur, when compounded to form various Sulfur Oxides, can cause health and respiratory problems, damage foliage, and create haze. Working with EPA, Blue Raster created a consolidated source of information, allowing the study of these elements within our ecosystem across a variety of models and timelines.

EPA’s Critical Loads Mapper incorporates a collection of four different respected scientific research efforts, including the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP),  the Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAQ), Total Deposition Science Committee (TDEP), and the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Each group of deposition estimates offers information on a variety of time spans, with some as early as 1851. Concentrations of these pollutants are predicted in deposition models which can help us better understand ecosystems at risk for exceedance of Nitrogen and Sulfur pollution.

In the application, you can overlay Federal lands and Wilderness areas from the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the US Forest Service. In our next release, users will be able to generate Deposition and Exceedance Profiles specific to each area.

With over 500 display options, the Critical Loads Mapper makes it easier for researchers, policy makers, and public officials to access this data, and create styled maps that can be saved, exported, or printed directly from the browser.

The Critical Loads Mapper is optimized to run at high performance, and leverages the ArcGIS Image Server for raster visualization and analysis. In addition, the application is built using Knockout, a JavaScript library that renders JSON (data) objects into html, for a simpler and more dynamic user interface experience. HTML5 Canvas, an html element, is the backbone for all of the on-the-fly printing capabilities. Each component of the application works to support the immense data being supplied while providing a user interface and user experience that is easily navigable and reliable.


Page 1 of 2