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.

Human Rights

Helping Secure Land Rights With LandMark

Blue Raster is proud to announce a major update to the LandMark interactive global mapping platform of community and indigenous lands. The original LandMark platform provided unprecedented information about the location of indigenous and community owned lands and the strength of legal protections available to these communities. The latest release builds upon that success by adding new functionality, upgrading back end processes to keep pace with latest technologies, and refreshing the design for an even better user experience. Working closely with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and a 13-member Steering Group, Blue Raster incorporated additional analysis capabilities, redesigned the map layout, added Python scripting to increase processing speeds, and integrated Amazon CloudFront to accelerate application performance.

LandMark Global Platform of Indigenous & Community Lands

We are very pleased to continue working with Blue Raster from the inception of LandMark in 2014 through this latest development phase. Their support has been instrumental in helping us towards our goal of becoming the go-to site for information on indigenous and community land rights globally.

— Katie Reytar, Senior Research Associate, WRI

The map’s new legend and navigation pane provide an intuitive and user-friendly way to explore indigenous & community land maps, country statistics, and legal security for these lands. The updated print function enables users to customize map views and export to a pdf, jpg, or png. Users can also generate location-specific reports by uploading shapefiles or drawing a polygon on the map. These reports include statistics on documentation, identity, and legal recognition of indigenous and community lands. Analysis is performed on the fly and the results can be exported for further study.

The ArcGIS JavaScript API, Highcharts, React JS, Python, and ES6 power the reports and mapping application. Be sure to visit the updated LandMark site today!

Peru Country Profile Page

Staying Ahead of the Global Water Supply Shortage

Global water supply is rapidly becoming a topic that crosses international borders and stretches across watersheds, communities, and livelihoods. Well known organizations such as the United Nations, the World Wildlife Foundation and The Water Project all recognize the threat of water shortage on generations to come and that these threats will have effects far beyond environmental. These organizations estimate that:

With a clear motive and call for action, World Resources Institute and Blue Raster teamed up to create Global Forest Watch Water, allowing users to quickly identify risks to clean water in areas of deforestation, forest fires and soil erosion and to identify cost-effective natural infrastructure solutions. This public facing tool provides the means for governments, businesses, financing, institutions, and communities to create a plan for action that is educated, sustainable, and effective.

Jasmine

“Global Forest Watch (GFW) Water is a global mapping tool and database that examines how forest loss, fires, unsustainable land use and other threats to natural infrastructure affect water security. Users can drop a pin anywhere on the map to see the risks to nearby water supplies and find resources on how investing in natural infrastructure protection can help alleviate these threats. GFW Water looks to help downstream utilities, businesses, financing and development institutions, researchers and civil society groups quickly identify risks to ample, clean water by providing the data they need for all 230 global watersheds in an easy-to-use, accessible format.”
– Jasmine Qin, Research Analyst, World Resources Institute


The World Resources Institute is partnering with civil-society organizations to support on-the-ground results, using GFW Water information to help them secure clean water supplies. These partners include:

GFW Water leverages the Esri ArcGIS API for JavaScript and ArcGIS Image Extension for Server for its advanced mapping capabilities and the ability to produce on-the-fly analysis for selected water features. The full reports include risk scores for forest loss, erosion, fires, and baseline water stress, as well as number of water intake locations, the presence of dams, and more. The application incorporates the Esri Hydrology Service, which allows for upstream analysis as a user specifies a point placed on a map. ReactJS and Highcharts are used for enhanced user interface features including the incorporation of animated charts and graphs.

 

Securing Land Rights for Indigenous Peoples and Communities

LandMark Global Platform of Indigenous and Community Lands

Blue Raster partnered with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and a 13 member Steering Group to create LandMark, the first-ever attempt to build a global repository of community land rights data. Launched on November 10, the LandMark website is the world’s first interactive global platform to map these lands.

According to WRI, up to 65% of land in the world is held by indigenous peoples and local communities, but only 10% is legally recognized as belonging to them. LandMark aims to help these communities publicly document their land boundaries, particularly in countries where there are no systems currently in place to do so.

LandMark

Blue Raster created the site using WordPress, ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS for Server, and the JavaScript API.

“Blue Raster has been a great asset to the World Resources Institute and our partner institutions in designing and developing the LandMark mapping platform. Especially valuable was their proficiency in creating a flexible product with a big-picture view towards future growth and development, as LandMark is a project that is constantly evolving,” said Katie Reytar, Senior Research Associate at WRI.

The site allows users to explore maps at both the community and national level, with the goal of helping key audiences including:

LandmarkOn-iPhone-v2LandmarkOn-iPhoneCompanies who are interested in identifying areas for potential investments and want to reduce company risk and costs associated with acquiring contested land.

Community members and groups supporting them who are looking for a platform to proactively document their land publicly.

Governments, to better recognize community land rights and encourage fellow public officials to take action based on examples of other nations.

General public, to gain a better awareness of the extent of land rights issues worldwide.

To learn more about the project and see the platform in action, check out WRI’s project page.

Amnesty International – Eyes on Syria

Blue Raster announces the launch of Eyes on Syria for Amnesty International, the world’s largest human rights organization.  Created using ArcGIS Server Flex API, Flickr, and YouTube, this application tracks human rights concerns within Syria, the harassment of pro-reform Syrians abroad, and activism of Amnesty International supporters around the world.  Eyes on Syria offers a comprehensive picture of the situation in and outside Syria using geolocated photography and video evidence with eyewitness testimonies as well as activist campaign materials.  The project was led by Amnesty International’s Science for Human Rights Program.

Amnesty International – Eyes on Nigeria

Blue Raster is proud to announce the launch of Eyes on Nigeria for Amnesty International, the world’s largest human rights organization.  Created using ESRI ArcGIS Server and Flex API, this application utilizes satellite imagery to track developments on the ground in areas of Nigeria where there are ongoing human rights concerns including forced evictions, pollution, violations of international humanitarian law, and communal violence and armed conflict.  The project was led by Amnesty International’s Science for Human Rights Program, in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Eyes on Nigeria utilizes high- and moderate-resolution satellite technology as well as traditional cartographic techniques and geolocated photography and video.  As a result, it offers a comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground in Nigeria, including through active monitoring of gas flaring in the Niger Delta region.  Eyes on Nigeria enables private citizens and policy makers worldwide to monitor the regions as well as allows access to related research findings, analysis, eyewitness testimonies, and advocacy and campaigning materials.  This site is designed to bring concerned people across the world closer to the daily threat those in Nigeria face.  “The Eyes on Nigeria project is a comprehensive view of the most pressing human rights issues facing the people of Nigeria,” said Scott Edwards, director of the Amnesty International Science for Human Rights Program.  “We hope that people around the world will be inspired by what they learn through this new project to act in concert with the Nigerian people to demand basic human dignity.”

To see how Amnesty International’s Eyes on Nigeria leverages the power of geospatial technology to map human rights violations please visit www.eyesonnigeria.org.  For more background on the project go to Amnesty International’s News and EventsAmnesty International UK, Amnesty International’s Blog, or AAAS.

Eyes on Nigeria