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.


Expanding Nutritious Food Access with the Healthy Corners Mobile App

What if you lived in a neighborhood where you didn’t have a local supermarket with affordable and nutritious food offerings? This is a very realistic scenario for many low-income communities in Washington, DC, but a local nonprofit—DC Central Kitchen (DCCK)—is aiming to solve this issue.

The organization provides culinary job training for individuals facing barriers to employment while simultaneously bringing nourishing foods and meals to communities that lack fairly-priced and wholesome options. Partnering with DC schools, community agencies, and corner stores, DCCK is continuing to find inventive and impactful ways to combat hunger and create healthy food access—and Blue Raster had the opportunity to be part of this mission.

Introducing the Free Healthy Corners Shopper App

In 2022, DCCK came to Blue Raster with the Healthy Corners Shopper app—originally developed by students at the University of California, Berkley—with the goal to display corner stores in DC neighborhoods that offer fresh, affordable produce to residents through the Healthy Corners program.

DCCK wanted a user-friendly application that would clearly show customers product availability by location and offer free recipes, resources, and more to inspire better eating. In addition to showing the location of inexpensive produce, the app also notes which stores in the Healthy Corners program offer a “SNAP Match” coupon program for SNAP/EBT customers and/or serve as DC WIC-approved vendors.

An App that Serves Up Real Change

Working off the original application structure, Blue Raster made the Healthy Corners Shopper app production-ready using the cross-platform framework React Native with an innovating backend in Airtable—a low-code platform for building applications.

Since 2020, DCCK’s Healthy Corners program has assisted in selling over 1.2 million units of healthy food options in DC corner stores (Source: https://dccentralkitchen.org/healthy-corners), and the Healthy Corners Shopper app is only helping that number rise. Interested individuals can download the app for free on their Android or iOS device—with exciting, new features coming soon thanks to the continued collaboration of DCCK and Blue Raster.

Strengthening Food Security in DC

Learn more and explore DCCK’s Healthy Corners Shopper app here, or contact Blue Raster today to discuss our hands-on process for creating custom mobile applications.

Esri ArcGIS Cloud Specialty: Elevating our clients’ GIS capabilities to the sky

Blue Raster is thrilled to be a member of the Esri ArcGIS Cloud Services Specialty. This specialty designates Blue Raster as an expert in deploying and managing ArcGIS in cloud environments such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. The Cloud Specialty program is designed to help Esri connect customers with recognized Partners that can best provide ArcGIS cloud solutions. Partners that meet the criteria for this specialty must demonstrate a track record of delivering value to their customers in implementing, managing, and designing cloud infrastructure in the Esri ArcGIS environment.  

Esri Cloud Services Specialty

To attain this specialty, Esri assessed Blue Raster’s expertise in the following areas of ArcGIS Cloud services: cloud deployments, system architecture and design, migrations, and managed services. Our deployments of ArcGIS Enterprise in the cloud include routine monitoring and maintenance to allow us to fine tune the system as needed, ensuring reliability and performance. Our system architecture and design experience encompasses single machine and multi machine architectures in both AWS and Azure that are customized to our clients’ specifications. We support all types of migrations including on-premises to cloud provider migrations, ArcGIS Online to ArcGIS Enterprise, and integration with third party providers.

Our portfolio of managed services includes the utilization of a wealth of Esri products and tools in the ArcGIS family such as ArcGIS Enterprise, Data Store, GIS Server, GeoAnalytics Server, GeoEvent Server, Notebooks, Image Server, Pro, Monitor, and Enterprise Geodatabases. Implementing these tools empowers us to provide a number of managed cloud services to our clients including design consultation, server construction, Esri software installation, infrastructure troubleshooting, distributed systems configuration, geographic redundancy configuration, OS patching, Esri security patching, routine Esri patch deployment, DevOps services, and user training services, among others. Blue Raster is primed and ready to meet our clients’ needs in all areas of the Esri ArcGIS cloud.

ArcGIS Cloud Solutions by Blue Raster

With over 10 years of experience providing ArcGIS Cloud consulting services, Blue Raster is proud to be a trusted resource for a variety of cloud solutions, including: 

    • Cloud ArcGIS Enterprise implementation 
    • Data migration 
    • System architecture and design 
    • Enterprise migration 
    • Security 

We use our cloud expertise to assist a variety of clients with a range of projects. Our dedicated DevOps team supports our cloud projects from requirements gathering through completion. Keep checking our blog posts for our latest projects as we continually grow and evolve our cloud-based service offerings.  

Are you looking to expand your ArcGIS capabilities in the cloud?
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!

New Era for Plant Mapping at New York Botanical Garden with PlantTracker

New York Botanical Gardens Plant Tracker App displayed in a laptop and iPhone.

Established in 1891 and covering 250 acres in the Bronx, New York Botanical Garden is the largest urban public garden in the United States. With the beauty of the collections, landscapes, and gardens it's no wonder why over one million people visit the garden annually. Looking to upgrade their public mapping presence and expand internal use of GIS, NYBG and Blue Raster partnered to develop PlantTracker. Replacing a previous tool, PlantTracker is the online catalog of NYBG's living collections used to find plants, navigate the grounds, get plant information, view photographs, and take curated tours. 

NYBG Plant Tracker App displayed on an iPhone

PlantTracker aides the public onsite and from home and also daily workflows of NYBG staff and the institutions educational programs rely on the tool. Funded through an IMLS Grant, PlantTracker replaces the legacy Garden Navigator application and provides an enhanced user experience with a map-centric and mobile-first design.

Blue Raster first deigned a GIS architecture environment and installed and configured ArcGIS Enterprise. Next, Blue Raster had to create many spatial datasets for use in GIS by converting existing CAD files and tables. This included working with exports of plants managed through BG-Base, totaling over 143,000 living and historical records. The GIS Team at Blue Raster improved the spatial accuracy of almost 700 location codes used for mapping and outlining the main garden locations. Plant photo workflows were also upgraded by integrating with the Asset Bank API.

In addition to PlantTracker, GIS upgrades allowed the opportunity to integrate Esri mobile workflows for staff. Configuration with ArcGIS Field Maps and Workforce for ArcGIS expands plant mapping workflows, allowing workers to update existing location, condition and measurement data in the field. Blue Raster works closely with BG-Base to sync both systems through a series of Python scripts that run nightly and as often as every five minutes. This means NYBG can continue to use BG-Base as the system-of-record for their collections, but take full advantage of GIS for mapping applications and field workflows.

NYBG has embraced GIS in a big way. In short time, a lot has been done to improve public and staff workflows around mapping. Explore NYBG PlantTracker to see for yourself!

NYBG Gallery
NYBG Details

Learn more about Blue Raster's work with public gardens, cemeteries, and arboretums here.

Contact us today!

Asian American Pacific Islander Community Hub

The Asian American Unity Coalition (AAUC) is an organization that provides a framework for over 70 different Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations to work together to connect, coordinate, and collaborate. To help empower and connect its members, AAUC set out to create a single ArcGIS Hub Site to share critical information and events, provide networking opportunities for AAPI organizations and individuals, and tell the story of the community’s diverse culture and heritage.

AAPI Community Hub

Blue Raster worked with AAUC to design, set-up, and deploy the AAPI ArcGIS Hub pilot prototype to bring together data about organization locations, resources, events, and initiatives. The resulting Asian American Pacific Islander Hub includes Blue Raster designed maps and data functionality in an easily consumable fashion.

Maps in the AAPI Hub

Visualizations include a map showing the locations of AAPI organizations nationwide. Users can click on any organization’s pin on the map to get details and a link to that group’s website. Another map shows the AAPI population by voting district to illustrate the ethnic make up of areas to aid in political advocacy activities. The Hub also includes other features like stories of community heritage that are offered in both native and English languages. The AAPI Community Hub is a powerful tool for AAUC and the AAPI community to share, connect, coordinate, collaborate, contribute and empower the community.


Tracking Trends of Innovation and Entrepreneurship with The Draper Innovation Index

Draper Hero Institute, Esri and Blue Raster team up to launch the Draper Innovation Index

Founded by legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist and entrepreneur Timothy C. Draper, Draper Hero Institute (DHI) provides applicable and modern resources for future entrepreneurs globally and ensures inclusiveness and opportunities for all.

A key example of one of those modern resources is the recently launched Draper Innovation Index.

The Draper Innovation Index is a Hub for ArcGIS site that contains several ArcGIS Dashboards and a StoryMap that displays key success factors, metrics, and indicators that support the performance of local startups and facilitate the creation of new jobs and economic prosperity, such as employment creation, VC funding, startup culture, tax regulations, and IP creation. Additionally, it provides innovation data from an entrepreneurial/VC perspective as opposed to others that exist from an academic point of view.

Draper Innovation Index

When Esri looked for a partner to take over the project after they had built the initial Hub, Dashboards and StoryMaps collection of tools called the Draper Innovation Index – they tapped longtime collaborators and Esri Gold Partner Blue Raster on the shoulder.

The Draper Innovation Index (DII) was initiated by Draper Hero Institute as an index consisting of a series of data indicators on the state of entrepreneurial activity, environment, and drivers – nationally and globally. Under the leadership of Program Manager Phil Satlof ; GIS Analyst Mary Bracho and Visual Designer Manny Fleurival adapted and enhanced the Hub and tools and participated in the global launch event on March 25th, which was covered by the Wall Street Journal.


With our goals to create a global index to foster the development of innovative technology and economic growth, Blue Raster and their team seamlessly achieved our vision. They transformed the complex data metrics and analysis into a user-friendly, visually aesthetic interactive tool. With the successful launch of our global index, we are excited to share this leading-edge tool with the world.” — Vivian Lufkin Executive Director, Draper Hero Institute”

We are now preparing for the launch of the USA Index on May 27th! Check index.draperhero.org for more news.

Draper Innovation Index

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