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Unless We Act Now: UNICEF

Unless We Act Now ReportBlue Raster is proud to announce a collaboration with The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to contribute to Unless We Act Now: The Impact of Climate Change on Children – a report published by UNICEF at the annual Conference of Parties (COP21), also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. COP21 is a renowned conference that brings together international voices representing government and UN Agencies, NGOs and civil society to assess climate change and set universal agreements and goals for reducing climate change and adapting to the changes that have already begun.

The Unless We Act Now report leveraged geospatial analysis of current demographic, environmental and projected climate data, in order to direct aid to child populations across the world as they face unforgiving changing weather patterns.

UNICEF has made putting children first their mission, and although climate change is an imminent threat to populations across the world, it is children who are hit the hardest as their bodies are most vulnerable to change. Being able to understand where these 2.3 billion children are was the first step, but taking this further to understand how environmental conditions such as droughts, floods, and extreme heat effect food and water supply, sanitation, and the spread of disease is made possible through GIS analysis via ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Online.

Climate Change affects children in unique ways — these maps show where Children and Climate Change intersect.

unicefMap1COP21 is a fantastic opportunity for UNICEF to present our “Unless We Act Now: The Impacts of Climate Change on Children” report, as climate change will be of critical importance when protecting and preserving the future livelihood of children around the world. Blue Raster was with us every step of the way during the data analysis and cartographic development, and their timely responses, adaptive and analytical methods, and personal connections to spatial data subject matter experts working around the world helped make this project a resounding success.

Nicholas Rees, Policy Analysis Specialist, UNICEF New York

A map poster featuring the analytical and cartographic work was then featured at the 2016 Esri User Conference and won the ICA and IMIA Excellence in Cartography award, and was selected for publication in 2017 Esri Map Book, Volume 32.

“The Impact of Climate Change on Children by UNICEF was recognized by the judges for it’s powerful, stark design on a relevant, topical subject. This work delivered a high impact, strong message with clarity and effective simplicity.”

Esri Insider, July 14, 2016

A special thanks to:
Trevor Croft, DHS Program   |   Paul Reig and Tianyi Luo, World Resources Institute   |   Carmelle Terborgh, Esri
Deborah-Balk, The City University of New York   |   Susana Adamo and Kytt MacManus, CIESIN Columbia University

children

STATcompiler Redefined: Into the Modern Era

More than 15 years after initial creation, STATCompiler has reached a level of unparalleled excellency with the latest release. The newly designed Beta STATCompiler website now reflects the most up-to-date indicator data from The DHS Program in a platform accessible universally across devices.

STATcompiler1

MapinMini

 

There are several changes to STATCompiler that bring it in to a new era:

  • New user interface and all new cartography for beautiful maps and visualizations
  • Over 500 new indicators including data from the DHS-6 tabulation plan on topics such as domestic violence, female genital cutting, malaria and maternal mortality
  • Metadata is now included in the “indicator details” with full definitions, denominators, and the measure of data (rate, percentage, etc.).
  • Confidence Intervals are now included in the graphics, an especially important consideration for rare events, particularly HIV prevalence and maternal mortality.
  • New data visualizations such as pop-ups in the map that summarizes trends over time
  • Mobile friendly interface allows it to be accessed on tablet devices.
  • The site now leverages the DHS Program’s public Application Programming Interface (API) ensuring data continuity and authenticity.

STATCompiler is built with modern tools such as JavaScript, HTML 5, the ArcGIS JavaScript API and incorporates proven legacy tools such as ColdFusion.

 

Appalachia Community Data Portal

Blue raster is pleased to announce the release of the newest HealthLandsape tool – the Appalachia Community Data Portal.

Created for the Appalachian region, the tool enables users to explore demographic, education, income, and health disparities for more than 400 Appalachia counties. The tool marries datasets from the the U.S. Census Bureau, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Robert Wood Johnson County Health Rankings, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid.

Economics

Using the Appalachia Data Portal tool, users can create side-by-side maps between indicators (for example, diabetes and poverty) to visualize potential relationships. Users can also overlay infrastructure data such as interstate networks or locations of Health Facilities, and start to visualize patterns between the two. Graphs and charts are available to see the numbers behind the data.

Explore the Appalachia Data Portal, and more health information tools, at healthlandscape.org.

From Data to Decisions on Global Malnutrition

Blue Raster recently worked with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to build a mapping application to highlight the multiple burdens of malnutrition in low, middle and high-income countries. This is a contribution to the growing research on the issue of the double/multiple burden of malnutrition globally. The interactive map transforms extensive tabular data from various resources into rich geographic visualizations, bringing the data to life in ways not possible in traditional reports.

Malnutrition Mapping Project

Intended as a policy and advocacy tool, the map allows users to analyze emerging issues and explore important indicators driving malnutrition. It provides country-level data and possibility to view the following:

  • Demographics
  • Undernutrition
  • Overweight / Obesity
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Risk factors, and
  • Protective factors

Cloud-based ArcGIS Online powers the interactive mapping. For rapid performance, Blue Raster leveraged ArcGIS Desktop to symbolize and tile the data, and ArcGIS Online to host and serve the tiled layers and feature services. Users can explore and understand the underlying data by selecting multiple variables simultaneously and viewing countries exceeding thresholds or missing data.

Indicator Analysis in GAIN's Double Burden Map


GAINBlue Raster did an excellent job under a very tight timeline. Their responsiveness to our needs and their creativity exceeded our expectations. We are very excited to share this policy and advocacy tool with researchers and other stakeholders around the world.”
-Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition

GAIN’s mapping tool is helping deliver a better understanding of the burdens faced by countries suffering from malnutrition. It provides new geographic insight and analytical capabilities, and will lead to better decisions on how to help the most vulnerable of the global population. Visit the site, and see how Blue Raster helped GAIN move from static reports to a powerful advocacy tool.

DHS Program Indicator Data API Opens Door for Innovative Apps

On the heels of the White House’s commitment to open data, Blue Raster collaborated with ICF International under The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program to build the DHS Indicator Data Application Programming Interface (API). Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the API provides users direct access to over 30 years of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data for more than 90 countries covering almost 1,500 indicators – more than 3 million records. By using this tool, developers, analysts, and researchers can obtain DHS data programmatically and develop applications that suit their needs.

DHS Program API Homepage

The API was developed by Blue Raster on the ColdFusion Web Application platform. Developers can query the DHS data using both a RESTful interface, which allows selecting parameters including countries, indicators, and surveys, as well as a conventional query-based interface which provides advanced options for obtaining more customized results. For those looking to query large sets of data, the API offers additional parameters that control the format, citation, and version information. Additionally, JSON, XML, CSV and HTML output formats are supported to provide users with flexibility.

DHS Program API Application Showcase

In the spirit of openness, the DHS Program has put together tips and code samples in JavaScript, ColdFusion, .NET, Python, R, Stata, and more to help users get started. You can even register to be a DHS API partner which allows you access to a larger number of entries returned per page and assistance in application development.

Trever Croft, DHS Program’s Capacity Strengthening Technical Coordinator, says:

“The DHS API provides a new level of access to DHS data. Blue Raster has produced a wonderfully simple but powerful tool that will power both the DHS website and STATcompiler as well as users and developers own applications.”

For more details, visit the DHS Indicator Data API website. Let us know if you build an app, and follow the API on Twitter (@DHSprogramAPI).


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