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.

GIS

Enabling cooperative engagement within the Asian American Community

The diverse Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities, with origins spanning over 42 countries in Asia and 15 countries in the Pacific, often face the challenge of being homogenized despite their rich cultural tapestry. Compounded by the presence of numerous ethnic groups within each origin country, each with distinct migration histories, understanding the nuanced complexity of these communities and effectively catering to their needs becomes imperative.

In response to this challenge, the Asian American Unity Coalition (AAUC) collaborating with its technology partner, Blue Raster Inc.,  are employing the power of GIS technology to shed light on the complexity of the diverse AANHPI communities. Through this collaboration and the dashboard application, we have undertaken a comprehensive exploration of the characteristics of various ethnic groups from East, Southeast, and South Asia, Syria, Yemen, as well as Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Hawaii.

The heart of this application lies in its ability to offer a comprehensive directory of Asian American nonprofit organizations across the United States. This invaluable resource retrieved from the IRS database provides a wealth of information about each organization, including its name, type, website, EIN (Employer Identification Number), classification, location by state and address, contact details, year formed, last year filing, income, and assets. This single, centralized platform streamlines access to essential information, making it easier than ever for individuals and entities to engage with and support AAPI nonprofits.

The AAPI Network Application

Asian American Unity Coalition Dashboard-1

The AAPI interface was developed with ArcGIS Experience Builder with ArcGIS dashboards embedded into the Experience Builder application to allow users to interact with the data, map and chart functionalities. Additionally, the Blue Raster team utilized ArcGIS Survey123 to configure a feedback form to allow organizations currently not in the network to seamlessly add and map their organizational info into the network inventory. Behind the Survey123 form, Blue Raster also developed an ArcGIS Reviewer Instant App to allow administrators to review and update survey entries. The application was also configured for web and mobile functionality. 

Benefits to the Asian American Community

One of the most significant benefits of this dashboard is its capacity to empower users with well-informed choices. Individuals looking to support Asian American nonprofits can now easily identify organizations aligning with their interests and values. Whether it’s civil rights, arts and humanities, religious, healthcare, or other areas, users can make decisions based on their preferences and contribute to causes they are passionate about. This newfound transparency ensures that resources are channeled more effectively towards causes that truly matter. By serving as a hub for the AAPI nonprofit network, this ArcGIS dashboard promotes greater synergy among organizations. Collaboration and networking are essential components of community-building, and this tool simplifies the process.

Organizations can identify potential partners, discover complementary initiatives, and collectively work towards the betterment of the AAPI community. Nonprofits can use this platform to expand their reach, connect with a broader audience, and raise awareness about their missions and initiatives. ArcGIS’s scalability and adaptability means it can be tailored to various needs and industries, from environmental conservation to public health and beyond. Its user-friendly interface ensures that users of all technical backgrounds can access valuable insights, making it a versatile tool that empowers organizations to unlock the full potential of their data.

Asian American Unity Coalition Dashboard-2 Asian American Unity Coalition Dashboard-3

The integration of GIS mapping has facilitated the identification of the geographic distribution of these ethnic communities. The dynamic dashboard application seamlessly interconnects the collected information, allowing users to apply filters based on state, purpose, and ethnicity. Currently, our initiative has identified over 16,500 nonprofit AANHPI organizations in all 50 states, with approximately 15,000 of them geocoded. Recognizing the need for a more comprehensive dataset, we aspire to expand the AAPI network to include over 20,000 organizations, necessitating continuous data validation and updates in sync with the IRS’s regular data refresh cycles.

Contact us today to learn more about this initiative and how Blue Raster can support your organization

 

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Revitalizing Main Street: Tracking Community Opportunities with BOOMS Tracker

Main Street districts across America, once vibrant centers of community life and economic activity, have faced significant challenges over recent decades. Economic shifts, suburbanization, and changing retail landscapes have left many of these historic areas struggling with vacant buildings, underutilized spaces, and a decline in local businesses. The need to revitalize these districts is critical for preserving cultural heritage, fostering economic growth, and enhancing community resilience.

Picture of historic main street buildings.

Addressing Community Challenges with Main Street America

Main Street America, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting traditional commercial districts, has launched the Building Opportunities on Main Street (BOOMS) Tracker to address the issues these areas are now facing. This innovative property inventory tool helps local Main Street leaders collect and analyze data on housing units, businesses, and civic spaces within their districts. By identifying development opportunities in vacant buildings, lots, and upper floors, the BOOMS Tracker provides actionable insights to drive revitalization efforts.

How Does the BOOMS Tracker Work?

  • Mobile Access: Users access district-specific ArcGIS Hub pages on their mobile devices to begin data collection.
  • Detailed Surveys: By selecting a parcel on the map, users complete detailed surveys to capture property information.
  • Real-Time Analysis: Collected data is analyzed and visualized to reveal opportunities, with statistics calculated in real time.
  • Aggregated Insights: Information is aggregated at regional and national levels to support decision-making and policy changes.

Users Access the Survey123 through an Experience Builder App

Users access the ArcGIS Survey123 through an Experience Builder app embedded in an ArcGIS Hub Page

ArcGIS Dashboard visualizing survey results

Data collected is analyzed and visualized in ArcGIS Dashboards to support decision making

The Impact of the BOOMS Tracker

The BOOMS Tracker serves as a central repository for valuable information about the built environment in each district. Insights derived from this tool empower local leaders to make authoritative decisions on housing and land use, driving revitalization efforts. Furthermore, aggregated data at larger regional and national levels provides evidence to influence policy changes and attract more investment into existing buildings.

Blue Raster's Role in Supporting Main Street America

At Blue Raster, we are proud to support the Main Street America's initiative with our expertise in geospatial technology. Utilizing tools such as ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Hub Premium, ArcGIS Survey123, ArcGIS Experience Builder, ArcGIS Dashboards, and the ArcGIS API for Python, we have developed the BOOMS Tracker to help communities visualize and analyze their data effectively. Our work supporting Main Street America ensures that local leaders have the tools they need to revitalize their downtown areas and promote sustainable growth.

Although the full functionality of the BOOMs Tracker is only available to designated Local and Coordinating Programs within the Main Street network, the public can access the BOOMS Tracker home page to see high-level statistics and the collection progress leaderboard.  Visit the BOOMS Tracker and Main Street America for more information.

BOOMS Tracker Public Statistics

BOOMS Tracker Public Statistics

BOOMS Tracker Collection Progress Leaderboard

BOOMS Tracker Collection Progress Leaderboard

BOOMS Tracker Homepage

BOOMS Tracker Homepage

Learn More About Our Work

Discover how Blue Raster’s advanced geospatial solutions can support your projects. Contact us today to learn how our expertise can make a difference in your efforts to improve community resilience and economic vitality. Click here to learn more.

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Blue Raster Takes to the Skies at Holden Forests & Gardens

On a beautiful April morning in Northeast Ohio, Blue Raster made final preparations for a drone basemap capture. Located in Kirtland, about 30 minutes East of Downtown Cleveland, is the sprawling 3,600-acre Holden Arboretum, one of the largest public gardens in the county. With over 20,000 annual member households and an annual attendance of over 350,000 visitors, people flock to see the beauty of the different landscapes in search of inspiration, education, and peace.

On this day, Blue Raster was tasked to capture approximately 300 acres of the curated collections and gardens (the rest being mostly natural lands) with a drone to create a high-resolution basemap for use by staff and in a future public application. After a brisk morning drive in the golf cart to review the locations of the preset ground control points, the drone was ready to fly.

Blue Raster’s Associate Project Manager and Drone Pilot, Ben Masters, explained to the Holden Team along for the ride how the drone would capture the images, the planned flight paths, altitude, and speed, and provided a safety moment. In four separate planned missions, over 1,400 images were captured in a matter of hours. Then it was off to the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the second institution in the Holden Forests & Gardens family, to capture the approximately 10 acres located in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood.

Combined, the five drone missions and over 1,700 images captured were processed for the two sites using Esri’s ArcGIS Drone2Map software. The high-resolution and current imagery allows for accurate GIS and mapping workflows. Over the next few weeks, Blue Raster will prepare the basemap for use in Holden’s ArcGIS Enterprise environment. Everything from workflows in ArcGIS Field Maps to the future public application will utilize this basemap. Holden Forests and Gardens has nearly 20,000 individual living plant records in their botanical repository, BG-BASE, which will be synced with GIS for real-time display of location, condition, measurements, and more in GIS.

Want to learn more about Blue Raster’s drone and Public Gardens capabilities and experience? We've supported over a dozen Public Gardens since 2010. Check out our website and reach out!

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Conservation.gov Launched for Earth Day 2024

On Friday April 19th the White House announced the launch of Conservation.gov, an information hub supporting locally led efforts to conserve and restore our nation’s lands, waters, and wildlife. Designing this brand new website was an exciting project that Blue Raster was proud to support. Launched just in time for Earth Day 2024, Conservation.gov is home to a wide variety of resources that support conservation, including the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas (currently a beta version).

Home Page of the new Conservation.gov website Conservation.gov Welcome Banner

To celebrate and announce the launch of Conservation.gov the White House released a press statement, including a quote from John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for International Climate Policy, who said:

“With the launch of Conservation.gov and its tools like the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, Americans can explore how they can take action to support conservation in their own communities.”

Image of Conservation.gov feature of the America the Beautiful initiative through an interactive map application. Conservation.gov Interactive Map

Blue Raster supported this project by designing the website and pages using ArcGIS Hub. Blue Raster provided the visual designs, page layouts and graphic elements for the site, as well as configuring some of the included interactive elements such as the Find Financial Assistance tool. In supporting this project Blue Raster worked closely with our Esri partners, and an interagency partnership co-led by the Department of the Interior (DOI), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

Image of prototype tool that currently aggregates financial assistance information from select programs in Grants.gov that Blue Raster was involved in building. This prototype tool currently aggregates financial assistance information from select programs in Grants.gov

Inspired by our work on Conservation.gov? Contact us to discover how Blue Raster can tailor GIS solutions to enhance your organization's impact.

Visit our contact page to get started!

Modernize your GIS with Blue Raster’s Expert ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro Services

As Esri transitions users from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro, GIS professionals are presented with an opportunity to embrace a more powerful and modern platform. Technology advances, and so too do the tools available for GIS professionals. For years, ArcMap has been a staple in the GIS industry, serving as a robust platform for spatial analysis and mapping. However, with the release of ArcGIS Pro, Esri has ushered in a new era of GIS software, offering enhanced capabilities and a modernized user experience. As Esri transitions users from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro, GIS professionals are presented with an opportunity to embrace a more powerful and modern platform.

However, migrating from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro can be an intricate task for many organizations. That's where Blue Raster comes in. With our expertise and experience, we offer comprehensive migration services to streamline your transition to ArcGIS Pro, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free experience.

ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro

Why Migrate from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro?

ArcGIS Pro represents the next generation of GIS software, offering enhanced capabilities and a modernized user experience. With ArcGIS Pro, users can leverage advanced 2D and 3D visualization tools, perform complex spatial analysis, and collaborate more effectively with colleagues. Additionally, ArcGIS Pro is tightly integrated with the ArcGIS platform, providing seamless connectivity to ArcGIS Online and other Esri services.

ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro

Another key benefit of ArcGIS Pro is its enhanced performance and scalability. Utilizing a 64-bit architecture, ArcGIS Pro can handle larger datasets and perform complex analyses more efficiently than its predecessor. This improved performance translates to increased productivity for GIS professionals, allowing them to accomplish more in less time.

By migrating to ArcGIS Pro, organizations can unlock new possibilities for GIS projects and workflows, ultimately driving better decision-making and outcomes.

The Challenges of Migration

While the benefits of ArcGIS Pro are clear, migrating from ArcMap can present some challenges. Legacy data formats, customized workflows, and familiar interfaces may need to be adapted to fit the new environment. Furthermore, ensuring data integrity and preserving existing projects during the migration process is paramount. Without proper planning and expertise, organizations may encounter delays, disruptions, and potential data loss.

However, many users find that the benefits of ArcGIS Pro outweigh any challenges associated with the transition. With proper planning and support, the migration to ArcGIS Pro presents an opportunity for GIS professionals to elevate their skills and unlock new possibilities in spatial analysis and visualization. The modern interface and streamlined workflows make it easier to accomplish common tasks, and the enhanced capabilities open up new possibilities for GIS analysis and visualization.

Blue Raster's Migration Services

At Blue Raster, we understand the complexities of migrating from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro. We recognize that every organization has unique needs and challenges when it comes to migrating from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro. We believe that successful migration goes beyond simply transferring data from one platform to another; it's about optimizing workflows, maximizing efficiency, and empowering organizations to achieve their GIS goals. That's why we take a customized approach to every migration project, ensuring that our solutions align with your specific goals and workflows. With our team of GIS ArcGIS Pro certified experts, we offer tailored migration services to meet the unique needs of each organization.

Our proven methodology ensures a smooth and efficient transition, minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity. Whether you're a small business, government agency, or multinational corporation, we're committed to helping you unlock the full potential of ArcGIS Pro and take your GIS workflows to the next level.

Blue Raster understands the transformative potential of ArcGIS Pro and is committed to helping organizations maximize its full GIS capabilities. With Blue Raster as your migration partner, you can trust that your transition to ArcGIS Pro will be smooth, efficient, and ultimately transformative for your organization.

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