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Land Use

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.


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.

City of Boston Zoning Viewer for Urban Planning

View planning and zoning information for properties across the City of Boston with the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s (BRA) new Boston Zoning Viewer. With the help of Blue Raster, this interactive web-mapping application was redesigned and updated with new data to assist city staff and the public in locating and determining zoning information for Boston land parcels.

Zoning Viewer Map Sample

Recognizing the need to build a tool that works across multiple platforms, Blue Raster worked to optimize the application (for the first time) on mobile devices in addition to desktops. The mapping tool was successfully migrated from Flex to JavaScript and uses the latest version of ArcGIS for Server.

Boston Zoning Goes Mobile

ArcGIS Image Extension serves imagery, and with the Zoning Viewer, both the public and city staff can access parcel information including address and owner, as well as many other contextual layers including zoning districts, smart growth, transit corridor and urban renewal.

Zoning Viewer Detailed Sample

For the first time, the new Zoning Viewer is available on tablets and phones. Users can select a parcel from the map, or locate a particular parcel by typing an address into the navigation search bar. The application also supports geo-searches with line-and-polygon buffer-selection tools.

Carolyn Bennett
This application greatly simplifies our ability to get at critical zoning information combined with other GIS data.
-Carolyn Bennett, Boston Redevelopment Authority GIS Manager


Staff and the public now have current information at their finger tips to make more informed planning decisions. Visit and explore the Boston Redevelopment Authority Zoning Viewer tool today.

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