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ArcGIS Online

The TRACE Initiative: Real-time data about recent infections to identify hot spots of current HIV transmission

The TRACE Initiative: Using real-time data on recent HIV infections to identify hot spots of current HIV transmission

The Tracking with Recency Assays to Control the Epidemic (TRACE) project –is a new effort which will contribute to the global fight to reach HIV epidemic control.

Through TRACE, new medical and technological innovations are combining in a powerful way to help meet that goal:

Medical:

  • TRACE is supporting select countries to begin implementing the use of Rapid Tests for Recent Infection (RTRI) which are capable of distinguishing between recent and long-term infections.
  • The test can be completed in 20 minutes during a routine exam

Technological:

  • Powerful, accessible and easy-to-use Business Intelligence platforms are in easy reach of public health organizations.
  • The explosion in online GIS and mapping capabilities brings the ability to analyze and visualize data by geospatial attributes to the screens of more people than ever before.

With funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TRACE is being implemented with technical assistance from ICAP at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Blue Raster has been tasked with developing a dashboard and map application to visualize, analyze and track the recent infections and identify hot spots where action may be directed.

The dashboard application needs to be accessible and usable by many users in many scenarios, and after assessing multiple options, the Blue Raster and TRACE teams decided that Microsoft PowerBI alongside Esri ArcGIS Online makes the ideal combination.

Blue Raster is honored to support all efforts to reach HIV epidemic control through our work on projects like TRACE and the ICAP’s Population-based HIV Assessment (PHIA) project.

Today’s availability of extensible, easy-to-use and cost-effective online tools will equip future generations  with accurate and complete information about burden and distribution of disease and ensure that resources are efficiently allocated.

City of Lynnwood ArcGIS Hub Support

Lynnwood Hub

Blue Raster recently worked with the City of Lynnwood, Washington to support their Connect Lynnwood ArcGIS Hub launch. Our team assisted in the design and creation of the Connect Lynnwood Hub Site and their 10 Minute Walk (10MW) Initiative. Part of the Esri Geospatial Cloud, ArcGIS Hub provides a two-way engagement platform to connect government and citizens. The Pew Research Center found that “65 percent of Americans search online for information about their government. Yet, less than 10 percent report finding what they need.” Through ArcGIS Hub, local officials like those at the City of Lynnwood are able to easily publish data and story maps to allow their citizens to get more involved with their community.

Lynnwood Hub mobile

 

Connect Lynnwood Splash Page

Using an ArcGIS Hub Site, our team designed a custom splash page to serve as a home-base for Connect Lynnwood. The page features Lynnwood initiatives, events, open data, and other information about the city. An open data search allows community members to enter keywords or phrases to get content results instantly. The splash page also includes multiple featured maps covering a variety of topics including general history, major projects  and more! The page also features Lynnwood’s Initiatives, such as the 10 Minute Walk Campaign. Lastly, an events calendar enables Lynnwood to create, manage, and share events to inform community members of upcoming opportunities for involvement. When clicking on an event, users can RSVP and also easily share the event with other community members via Facebook or Twitter. The Lynnwood event manager can also stay connected with RSVP’ed attendees by sending  updates and sharing information that might interest them.

 

Initiative Page

The City of Lynnwood launched their 10 Minute Walk Campaign as their first ArcGIS Hub Initiative. On the Initiative page, community members can learn about the campaign and sign up to become “park walk champions.” As park walk champions, community members record their walks around the city’s numerous parks, and complete surveys that will be used by the City of Lynnwood to assess park and green-space accessibility. By leveraging ArcGIS Hub, the city is able to easily and effectively two-way engage with its citizens.

Check out the City of Lynnwood’s ArcGIS Hub here! Then, learn more about Blue Raster’s ArcGIS Hub Accelerate offerings!

The Magic of Maps: Presenting Esri StoryMap Beta

Blue Raster recently had the opportunity to create and present a StoryMap using the new ArcGIS StoryMaps (currently in Beta) for Esri’s “The Magic of Maps: How to Engage and Inspire Your Community” event. At this event, we were able to introduce our own thoughts on the new platform, as well as give advice on how organizations are able to utilize these tools successfully. The StoryMap itself, titled Measuring Success, goes into detail on how some of Blue Raster’s nonprofit partners are tracking progress of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. It addresses five of the seventeen SDGs and encompasses the work of The Demographic and Health Surveys Program, UNICEF, and The Nature Conservancy.

 

The Magic of Maps

The Magic of Maps

The presentation focused heavily on how organizations can be successful in the creation and utilization of their StoryMaps, including knowing the target audience, recognizing the potential of a successful StoryMap, and creating a concise and engaging design. Additionally we were able to showcase the features included in the new beta version of ArcGIS StoryMaps. With the new, modern platform users are able to pick and choose distinct elements to piece together, rather than having to select a set template. Uniform text and font size options also help to eliminate the complexity of styles and reduce design workload. Dynamic media types such as maps, videos, and images can be seamlessly integrated into a number of StoryMap features to further engage the audience. Most importantly, the new builder has a simplistic user interface that allows anyone regardless of prior experience (or lack thereof) to produce a professional-caliber StoryMap.

Special thanks to the members of the Blue Raster team who collaborated to create and present this StoryMap: Project Manager Christina Phang, UI/UX Designer Rachel Stock, GIS Intern Kelly Motzko, and GIS Intern Joe Nadonley.

You can view the slides and listen to the presentation here.

Following the Student Journey: Education to the Workforce

The TalentED Story Map brings community college students to the forefront of job opportunity and workforce development. In California, Blue Raster, the Community Coast College District (CCCD) and LearningCurved presented a hands-on workshop exploring the use of geographic maps as a tool to transform career exploration. Additionally, the team presented ways to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping for story telling, decision making, and collaboration.

The workshop brought together over 35 attendees from local community colleges and industries, each with unique experience working directly with students and the platform. Attendees explored topics such as:

    • Maps for Smart Decision Making
    • Effective Use of Story Maps
    • TalentED Demonstration
    • User Feedback & Panel Discussion

The TalentED platform provides interactive career exploration by focusing on key concepts which are important to students. Priority Industry Sectors introduce nine growing industries in Southern California, for example Biotechnology and Advanced Transportation. Dig into each Industry Sector to learn more about occupations and wages. In addition, students can explore companies that have careers in those industries and hear testimonials from professionals who followed a similar path.

Community Feedback

The TalentED Development Team worked vigorously to get student feedback and understand ways to improve the platform. For example, the Development team conducted a Pilot Program Survey, where 595 Students and Staff from nine different colleges were invited to get a first look at TalentED. Participants had the opportunity to provide an evaluation of the platform and reflect on their experience navigating the platform. Further, the participants helped us understand if they thought the platform was effective in career exploration and if it was something they would share with their peers. As a result, the TalentED team can hone in ways to make a more effective platform for the students. The positive feedback from the users was tremendous and several respondents spoke directly about their experience at the workshop. Watch the feedback given by users through personal testimonials below.

Saving Wilderness Areas with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

African elephants

At the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), staff are using the Global Forest Watch MapBuilder platform to show their global impact. WCS works to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 16 priority regions. Their new MapBuilder platform is a powerful mapping tool for analyzing data in priority conservation areas.

WCS’ platform combines the use of remote sensing and GIS to visualize and monitor top priority regions for conservation. Through a combination of interactive mapping, data visualizations, and analytical reports, the platform provides staff with access to information on the current state of WCS protected areas around the world.

WCS' goal is to conserve the world's largest wild places in 16 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world's biodiversity.

The platform incorporates a breadth of data on priority landscapes and sea- and coastal- scapes (known as “scapes”). In addition, it visualizes key project areas where WCS is working to have a conservation impact on species. By centralizing this data all on one platform, users can visualize overlap and patterns. For example, staff can overlay forest fragmentation, infrastructure development, and conservation areas to quickly see if wildlife movement is blocked between and within protected areas. This is especially important in Africa, where species like elephants, giraffes, and zebras travel long distances between wet and dry seasons to survive.

WCS Mapbuilder Platform

In addition to the data on the platform, the site also contains powerful analytics powered by MapBuilder’s custom functionality. Through a unique workflow built by our two teams, WCS can connect their API with the Global Forest Watch API to return time-series statistics within the application. This enables users to run specialized analyses to answer questions such as:

  • Which protected areas have experienced the greatest forest disturbance in recent years?
  • How have species population trends changed over time?
  • Where are the last unbroken swaths of intact forest?
Visualizing Results

WCS can also visualize their impact. For example, thanks to conservation efforts, Nouabalé Ndoki National Park is free from logging and contains no roads within its borders. The park covers more than 4,000 square kilometers of contiguous rainforest and is a stronghold for iconic species including forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees.

 

 

WCS’ platform is built with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, ArcGIS Enterprise, the Global Forest Watch API, and Google Earth Engine.

Check out the WCS MapBuilder platform today!


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