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.

District of Columbia

3D Zoning in Washington D.C.

The Washington, DC Office of Zoning (DCOZ) provides assistance and oversight for the District of Columbia Zoning Commission (ZC) and Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA). DCOZ reviews and accepts applications and enforces zoning criteria. With the help of Blue Raster, robust mapping and GIS tools provide citizens with general understanding and transparency around these criteria, rules and regulations. In 2016, Blue Raster and DCOZ collaborated to create the DC Zoning Map of 2016 and the Historical Zoning Mapping Application. New in 2018, we are excited to announce the next application in the series, the 3D Zoning Map. This new interactive map uses the latest geospatial and 3D technology to provide both residents and developers a tool to navigate and plan the District’s landscape.

DCOZ 3D Zoning image

To assist developers with visualizing what their project will look like against the current landscape, the 3D Zoning Map allows users to delete current buildings, upload new projects, and perform Before & After and Light Study analyses. Using Esri’s ArcGIS API for Javascript, data from DCOZ and the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) is added to a Web Scene. Additionally, users have the ability to view zoning information from the Zoning Handbook and link to their address in the official Zoning Map.

DCOZ 3D Zoning imageThe 3D Zoning Map is an innovative public tool from DCOZ for citizens, developers, and agencies to collaborate and understand the zoning regulations in the nations Capitol.

“Our goal at DCOZ is to always be working towards greater transparency and to be increasing the amount of relevant information we can provide in interesting ways. It is our hope that the 3D Zoning Map will further demystify zoning and land use permitting in the District of Columbia and increase resident’s ability to participate in the process. We are excited to continue our partnership with Blue Raster through the release of the 3D Zoning Map.”  Matthew Holden, Zoning Data Coordinator, Office of Zoning | District of Columbia Government

Maret School: Exploring Inequality through GIS

Using GIS to map inequality is a powerful tool for understanding how inequity and place are inherently connected. Recently, the Maret School and Blue Raster partnered to give students the skills and resources necessary to map historical inequality in DC to deliver valuable resources for the DC community and beyond.

Photo of the Maret School.

Blue Raster developed and delivered basic and intermediate GIS instruction for Maret’s Mapping Inequality in DC class.

Using Blue Raster’s instructions through ArcMap and ArcGIS Online, students learned to:

  • Create, style and update maps.
  • Add Census demographic layers and features to maps.
  • Visually analyze historical patterns in data.
  • Create compelling static maps, as well as interactive Story Maps to illustrate and explore inequality.

Students explored issues such as redlining, health systems, access to public transportation, and other issues relating to inequality.

Students worked in teams to create research questions and then blend demographic data with a digital mapping
program to draw conclusions about patterns of inequity in DC. Students learned to take advantage of available resources, including open data and census portals, in order to produce insightful analysis.

Examples of open data sources that are available to students.
Blue Raster understands that equity and place are inherently connected. We believe that every aspect of a class – researching, learning, analyzing, and communicating – benefits from ArcGIS and spatial thinking.

ArcGIS Hub: Grow Your Local Economy

Last year, Esri announced a new product in their platform– ArcGIS Hub. ArcGIS Hub supports collaboration between governments, businesses, citizens and their communities to accomplish data-driven Initiatives.

Recently, Blue Raster assisted Esri in the creation of the Grow Your Local Economy Initiative. This Initiative provides a suite of tools and applications you can use to show business owners, developers, and entrepreneurs why your city is the ideal place to attract top industry talent and grow their business. You can then show and monitor the progress your community is making towards growing your local economy.

The Grow Your Local Economy Initiative consists of four main tools:ArcGIS Hub Icon

  1. Business Development Website – Features the economic development initiative. Users can embed the Economic Development Explorer & Storymap to fuel interest in their area
  2. Economic Development Explorer – This premium interactive application gives potential businesses and developers an easy way to explore aspects of the area.
  3. Why Locate to Your Community Story Map – This configurable story map template highlights why your city is the ideal place to attract top talent.
  4. Survey capabilities – Gain input from current or potential business owners, developers, and entrepreneurs.

Economic Development Explorer

Get inspired by this example of Washington D.C.’s initiative below, and learn more about Blue Raster’s ArcGIS Hub work and support packages.

ArcGIS Hub Grow Your Local Economy

 

 

DCPS Recycles Right

Have you ever wondered where plastic comes from, how plastic bottles are made, or where it goes when recycled? The students of Washington, DC public schools are learning the answers.

To celebrate America Recycles Day (November 15th), the Department of General Services (DGS) in Washington, D.C. is launching a brand new series of Story Maps focusing on some of the most commonly found items in a school cafeteria. The Story of Waste looks at how everyday items are produced, transported, consumed and recycled. The stories help teach students the global supply chain of products, where waste from their cafeteria goes, and what it becomes.

Did you know that over 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans each year? The stories also share statistics on waste to help students understand the importance and impact of recycling right. Narratives showing the recycle, waste and compost paths of a banana peel, plastic bag, and plastic bottle are complete. DGS and Blue Raster are working on additional stories for paper and incorrectly disposed plastic bottles, coming soon.

DGS is working with over 100 public schools on programs for recycling and composting. In 2010 the city enacted the DC Healthy Schools Act which aims to improve health and wellness of students. Each year, schools are recognized for meeting the requirements of the program and an application was built to highlight Honor Roll schools on a map.

Check out these great stories today!

The Future of 3D Zoning

Building the future of zoning in DC is no easy feat. Blue Raster is currently working with the D.C. Office of Zoning to introduce 3D into a Zoning Map, coming soon.

What can you expect to see? How about something like this:

You like shadows? Maybe see how they change over the day?

How about building heights? They fall inside the building height standards?

Coming soon, in partnership with our friends at the DC Office of Zoning



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