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.

JavaScript API

Using GIS to Inform Workforce Development


We recently worked with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to produce a national-level work-based learning map. Built using ArcGIS Online and the Esri JavaScript API, the map can be custom-tailored to specific state or local agency leadership teams. Using these customized maps, teams can better contextualize their workforce development initiatives and refine their understanding of resources and socioeconomic distribution across their region.

Workforce Development with GIS

Nearly five decades of research has demonstrated that the places where individuals live and learn have a dramatic impact on their opportunities and life outcomes. These place effects—the advantages and disadvantages that one inherits by simply living in a particular location—have a particularly strong impact on one’s access to high-quality education, workforce training, and employment, which are the key ingredients to upward economic mobility. It is vital that leaders in state and local education agencies are mindful of place effects as they help districts and schools to develop work-based learning (WBL) systems across diverse contexts.

Through this application, AIR can more easily identify areas of improved workplace development and analyze the factors that lead to this outcome. This could include factors such as education opportunities, health benefits, or a variety of social factors.

How do I use it?

Users are able to activate different layers that fall under categories such as Education, Health, and Social Factors. By looking across states and the country as a whole, we are able to understand which communities are at a disadvantage when it comes to these factors. As we explained earlier, these factors are vital to spark upward economic mobility. When viewing these different layers, we can have a higher understanding of where these lacking communities are located, and where resources need to be more readily available.

Here is a demo of the application in action.

You can view and use the application here.

Saving Wilderness Areas with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

African elephants

At the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), staff are using the Global Forest Watch MapBuilder platform to show their global impact. WCS works to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 16 priority regions. Their new MapBuilder platform is a powerful mapping tool for analyzing data in priority conservation areas.

WCS’ platform combines the use of remote sensing and GIS to visualize and monitor top priority regions for conservation. Through a combination of interactive mapping, data visualizations, and analytical reports, the platform provides staff with access to information on the current state of WCS protected areas around the world.

WCS' goal is to conserve the world's largest wild places in 16 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world's biodiversity.

The platform incorporates a breadth of data on priority landscapes and sea- and coastal- scapes (known as “scapes”). In addition, it visualizes key project areas where WCS is working to have a conservation impact on species. By centralizing this data all on one platform, users can visualize overlap and patterns. For example, staff can overlay forest fragmentation, infrastructure development, and conservation areas to quickly see if wildlife movement is blocked between and within protected areas. This is especially important in Africa, where species like elephants, giraffes, and zebras travel long distances between wet and dry seasons to survive.

WCS Mapbuilder Platform

In addition to the data on the platform, the site also contains powerful analytics powered by MapBuilder’s custom functionality. Through a unique workflow built by our two teams, WCS can connect their API with the Global Forest Watch API to return time-series statistics within the application. This enables users to run specialized analyses to answer questions such as:

  • Which protected areas have experienced the greatest forest disturbance in recent years?
  • How have species population trends changed over time?
  • Where are the last unbroken swaths of intact forest?
Visualizing Results

WCS can also visualize their impact. For example, thanks to conservation efforts, Nouabalé Ndoki National Park is free from logging and contains no roads within its borders. The park covers more than 4,000 square kilometers of contiguous rainforest and is a stronghold for iconic species including forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees.

 

 

WCS’ platform is built with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, ArcGIS Enterprise, the Global Forest Watch API, and Google Earth Engine.

Check out the WCS MapBuilder platform today!

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

Protecting Indigenous & Community Lands With LandMark

Blue Raster is pleased to work with the World Resources Institute (WRI) on a recent initiative to release new datasets and tools on LandMark– an online, global platform providing maps on Indigenous and Community Lands. The new analysis features and data focus on measuring the impacts Indigenous Peoples have on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Landmark Tree Cover Loss Analysis

LandMark Tree Cover Loss Analysis

According to a recent study, Indigenous Peoples and local communities manage at least 24% (54,546 MtC) of the total carbon stored above ground in the world’s tropical forests, a sum greater than 250 times the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global air travel in 2015. Additionally, Indigenous Lands that are legally recognized experience rates of deforestation that are two to three times lower than non-tenure secure lands, according to Peter Veit, director of WRI’s Land and Resource Rights Initiative.

“The new data and analysis features on LandMark take the platform to a new level by not just showing the presence and legal situation of indigenous and community lands, but also their specific contributions to protecting the environment and the threats that they face from outside pressures such as deforestation, concessions, infrastructure development, and more.”

Katie Reytar, a research associate with WRI’s forest program.

Now, anyone can calculate the amount of tree cover loss in specific Indigenous and Community Lands on-the-fly, and learn more information including land cover composition and tree cover density. Additional datasets on the site include:

Landmark Custom Analysis

  • Intact Forest Landscape and Soil Organic Carbon
  • Pressures, including Mining and Oil Palm concessions, and Major dams
  • Land Cover & Change, including annual Tree cover loss and gain all available on a global scale at 30m x 30m resolution

To build the updated site, Blue Raster harnessed the power of ArcGIS Online, an entirely web-based mapping platform that allows organizational access to datasets. By leveraging ArcGIS Online, WRI can add, remove, or edit maps in a matter of minutes and publish their changes instantaneously.

Blue Raster also leveraged WRI’s Global Forest Watch MapBuilder application template to overhaul the design of the map. The map features an improved user-friendly navigation and analysis pane. The MapBuilder template allows anyone with an ArcGIS Online account to turn custom maps into interactive web applications. As part of the project, additional functionality was imported into the MapBuilder core, all of which is formally written in the documentation for anyone to add their own customizations to the template.

See LandMark’s new tools and datasets at www.landmarkmap.org.

WHO Malaria Threats Map: Tracking challenges of malaria control to 2030

Blue Raster is proud to announce the debut of the Malaria Threats Map application, a collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at tracking biological challenges to malaria control and elimination.

Recent trends are emerging that necessitate a need for authorities to adapt plans for control and elimination of Malaria and counter the growing threat.

The application is the sole source for linked spatial and analytical data about these three trends:

  • Vector Insecticide Resistance -resistance of malaria mosquitoes to insecticides
  • Parasite Gene Deletions-Gene deletions among some malaria parasites cause false negative diagnostic test results
  • Parasite Drug Resistance– Resistance of malaria parasites to artemisinin, core compound of the best available antimalarial medicines – threatens antimalarial drug efficacy

The application offers a story-map like feeling by introducing data through curated narratives and is available in English, French and Spanish.

Using technologies such as ArcGIS for Server, ArcGIS API for JavaScript, React, Redux, and HTML5 the application displays detailed information to users and allows them to filter for thousands of historic outcomes.

 

Phase I of the application was completed in 2017 with plans for a Phase II in 2018.

 

 

 

 Read more about the application on the WHO site.

 


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