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.

Community

Identifying Connectivity Across US Communities

Blue Raster recently collaborated with New America on a story map highlighting city and community connectedness across the US. The story map looks at 25 different community focused networks working to help cities and counties solve a wide-range of challenges including climate change, criminal justice, and homelessness. The story map was developed in conjunction with a larger publication by New America focusing on the contribution that community networking makes to renewal and revival.

New America Story Map

To better understand the factors that contribute to a city’s overall connectivity, New America asked our team to enrich their data with indicators such as population, Tapestry Segmentation, and MSA to determine if there were patterns and trends among the most networked communities. Population turned out to be one of the biggest contributing factors to a city’s overall connection.

Top 10 Most Connected Metro Areas (2018)

To visualize connectivity of both cities and communities simultaneously, the Blue Raster team used a combination of heat map cartography in addition to point and polygon data to show where overlaps occur between cities, communities, counties, and states.

Our team also built customized pop-ups through ArcGIS Online. Using SQL Query syntax we were able to make pop-ups that are customized to each network depending on the type of data in that network, whether it be cities, communities, counties, or any combination of geographies..

Check out the story map, and see how well connected your own community is by reading New America’s full report!

LOOK UP and take a Skyfie

Ever wonder what people in far off places are seeing at the same time you’re looking up at the sky? On October 18, sky-watchers across the globe can take part in a 24-hour phenomenon by using Look Up’s new app, Skyfie, and share their experiences as they look up at our shared sky.

Working with the Dorothy Jemison Foundation, Blue Raster helped develop the Sky Tapestry 3D Globe for the October 18th Look Up event. Dr. Jemison, spearheading the Look Up event, is a physician, engineer, educator and entrepreneur, and was the first woman of color in the world to go into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. She was a NASA astronaut for six years before founding her own technology company and is now the current principal of the 100 Year Starship organization.

The app captures expressions of what individuals see and feel and allows participants to see the sky from a different perspective. Images, audio/video, and text about the sky taken in the mobile app will populate the Sky Tapestry globe in near-real time.

The Sky Tapestry is built on Esri’s latest 3D Globe technology. Skyfies from the mobile app populate a Google Firebase database. Blue Raster developed a Node.js script to push records from Skyfie to an ArcGIS Online feature layer, which display on the Globe.

“I believe the impact of looking up at the sky can be as profound as seeing the Earth from space orbit. Especially when it’s a shared, worldwide experience!”  – Dr. Mae Jemison

Download the app for iOS or Android and take part in Look Up! Follow the #LookUpTogether, #Skyfie and #lookuponesky tags on social media for news and updates about this global event.

 

 

Workforce Development Through Story Maps

Community colleges deeply impact students’ lives and add value as an engine of economic mobility. They are particularly important for students often left on the sidelines of higher education — foster youth, veterans, incarcerated adults, and low-income or first-generation students.

Driven by the need for new tools that demonstrate how community colleges can positively affect students’ lives, the Coast Community College District (CCCD) and Blue Raster partnered to publish a series of story maps preparing tomorrow’s workforce for the new economy. The TalentED Story Maps, built on the ArcGIS Online Cascade template, are a bold regional approach for engaging employers and educators in creating clear roadmaps for student success.

Through TalentED, students can visualize regional workforce needs and available educational opportunities. Counselors can also help others plan out a career path that reflects personal and financial goals.

Alongside the central TalentEd Story Map, industry-level Story Maps give students access to information on careers, colleges, and living costs, all targeted to their specific location.

Within each industry-level Story Map, users can watch short videos on the wide range of jobs associated with each industry. They can also view all companies in Orange County that are involved in a specific industry, and find a community college where they can continue their studies for a job in that field. Further interactive display options allow users to also tailor their experience to their needs, placing themselves on the path to a great career.

As Stephanie Feger, Project Director of Coast Community College District said:

“This resource will be invaluable to the colleges and students in our region. We value Blue Raster’s partnership in design, development, documentation and support. We truly appreciate Blue Raster’s expertise and collaborative approach.”

Check out the TalentED Story Maps today!

Biotechnology story map

Highlights from the Esri UC 2018

Every summer in San Diego, the Esri User Conference (UC) is a hub of collaboration, new ideas, and cutting-edge technology available to GIS professionals across virtually every sector. The Blue Raster team was excited to participate in the largest conference to-date; over 18,000 attendees, and showcase our latest work, meet new friends and learn from others in the GIS community.

Some of the standout ideas that left us excited about what’s coming up:

  • ArcGIS Urban – During the always-inspiring Plenary Session, we were thrilled to see Boston Redevelopment innovating and leading with expansion into the latest 3D GIS Capabilities. We have previously worked with them on the City of Boston Zoning Viewer
  • ArcGIS Indoors – indoor location mapping can expand the way we use 3D mapping by taking our visualizations inside
  • Spatial Analytics – continuing to expand the science of where and the capabilities we deliver to our customers; Irving Forestry gave an inspiring demonstration on how they use GIS to transform their forest product supply chain from seedling to shelf. We look forward to continued advancements in sustainable resource management and our ongoing research on Emerging Hot Spots.
  • Societal GIS – We are continuously in awe of the expansion of the GIS community and what this means for all aspects of life including sustainability and human rights.

We loved having all the visitors at our booth this year, from professionals in conservation and forest management to real estate development and utility support. We were able to demo some of our latest applications, and invited attendees to visit our Map Gallery Poster featuring our work with The Green-Wood Cemetery.  This specific collaboration led to the creation of a mobile data collection and task management system utilizing Collector for ArcGIS and Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS, that has completely replaced the paper collection system used previously.

Between our booth on the expo floor, the many sessions and socials, and our legendary fish taco night, check out the photos of some favorite moments:

Esri UC 2018

Special Recognition

The Blue Raster team also wants to give a special shout out to Sandro Ansari who worked with the help of Stephen Ansari to create an orthomosaic basemap of the Patternson Grove Campmeeting grounds and cottages. After flying the grounds with a DJI Phanton IV Drove, Sandro created the basemap using ArcGIS to digitize cottages and features. Sandro won first place for this map in the Student Map category. Way to go Sandro!

Full Size Poster

CampmeetingPoster_EsriUC

Arlington Democrats: Organizing Volunteers with Accessible Maps

Have you ever wondered how local political parties organize their army of door-to-door volunteers? Increasingly, these efforts depend on effective and accessible mapping.

Recently, Blue Raster worked with the Arlington County Democratic Committee to update their door-to-door newsletter delivery route maps. These maps direct a group of nearly 500 volunteers from door to door, providing them with vital geographic and demographic information. Displaying 443 routes across 52 voter precincts, the success of the maps depends on being both descriptive and easily accessible.

Comparison of old and new map formatting.

Left to Right: Old Format and New Format

The Blue Raster team processed the data in ArcGIS Desktop to remove unnecessary information and create a streamlined process for updating the maps with annual data. The streamlined process provides clear instructions for updating and troubleshooting data, in a format that can be followed by ArcGIS Desktop users of any experience level. From start to finish, users can manage their maps internally regardless of previous knowledge or expertise. The ArcMap document leverages data driven pages to quickly and easily generate over 400 map routes from a single map document (.mxd).

Alison DentonIt was such a pleasure working with Blue Raster! Carter, Olivia, Christina and the rest of the team helped us to streamline our datasets and bring real efficiency to the Messenger Maps production process. As a volunteer organization, having the professionalism of the Blue Raster team behind us moved us leaps and bounds ahead in creating maps that will truly empower our volunteers to help get out the vote. The Arlington Democrats’ Messenger Maps team is extremely grateful to Blue Raster – thank you!

  — Alison Denton, Arlington County Democrats’ Messenger Maps Team

Blue Raster also optimized the print layout of the maps, reducing printing time and costs without sacrificing content and presentation. The updated maps provide a comprehensive and flexible structure for creating and producing accessible mapping.

 


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