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.

Mobile

LOOK UP and take a Skyfie

Ever wonder what people in far off places are seeing at the same time you’re looking up at the sky? On October 18, sky-watchers across the globe can take part in a 24-hour phenomenon by using Look Up’s new app, Skyfie, and share their experiences as they look up at our shared sky.

Working with the Dorothy Jemison Foundation, Blue Raster helped develop the Sky Tapestry 3D Globe for the October 18th Look Up event. Dr. Jemison, spearheading the Look Up event, is a physician, engineer, educator and entrepreneur, and was the first woman of color in the world to go into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. She was a NASA astronaut for six years before founding her own technology company and is now the current principal of the 100 Year Starship organization.

The app captures expressions of what individuals see and feel and allows participants to see the sky from a different perspective. Images, audio/video, and text about the sky taken in the mobile app will populate the Sky Tapestry globe in near-real time.

The Sky Tapestry is built on Esri’s latest 3D Globe technology. Skyfies from the mobile app populate a Google Firebase database. Blue Raster developed a Node.js script to push records from Skyfie to an ArcGIS Online feature layer, which display on the Globe.

“I believe the impact of looking up at the sky can be as profound as seeing the Earth from space orbit. Especially when it’s a shared, worldwide experience!”  – Dr. Mae Jemison

Download the app for iOS or Android and take part in Look Up! Follow the #LookUpTogether, #Skyfie and #lookuponesky tags on social media for news and updates about this global event.

 

 

Integrating Field GIS at Green-Wood Cemetery

At Green-Wood Cemetery, staff are working to phase out paper forms for Field GIS applications. Using Collector and Workforce for ArcGIS, Green-Wood is streamlining work order assignment and management for plant collections and monument restoration.

Located in Brooklyn, New York, Green-Wood is one of the first rural cemeteries in America. Founded in 1838, the site is a National Historic Landmark and an accredited arboretum that attracts over 500,000 visitors annually. Green-Wood is also massive, spanning 478 acres and containing over 560,000 “permanent residents” and well over 7,000 trees.

It is essential to keep Green-Wood looking spectacular for visitors, but managing the volume of work orders over so much space can be challenging. With help from Alliance for Public Gardens GIS (APGG) and Blue Raster, Green-Wood is swapping paper forms for Field GIS mobile applications to create, assign and manage work orders. Using the latest Esri technology, including ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5.1 and Portal for ArcGIS, the team imported and configured plant center and monument locations into the Parks and Gardens Information Model and hosting it in the Cloud.

Using Collector for ArcGIS, Green-Wood staff can now create work orders in the field on a mobile device. Blue Raster configured a python script using the Esri REST API to push data from Collector to Workforce for ArcGIS every 15 minutes. A dispatcher can then assign tasks to field crews, using the mobile version of Workforce for ArcGIS to manage their assignments.

Finally, Blue Raster configured a real-time operations view for both plant maintenance and monument restoration using Esri’s Operations Dashboard. These dashboards will allow for management to quickly see key metrics, including the total number work orders, and work orders by team or type.

“In streamlining our work order system, Blue Raster provided a game-changing landscape management platform for both our horticulture and restoration departments. With the Operations Dashboard, we now have the data to measure performance and the real-time analytics that provide insight into best management practices at our historic site. Working with the Blue Raster team was a terrific experience: they were responsive, engaged, and committed—all you could ask for in a collaborator.”  

– Joseph Charap, Director of Horticulture and Curator, Green-Wood 

Going Mobile at U.S. National Arboretum!

Blue Raster developed and launched a new mobile application for The United States National Arboretum, giving scientists and visitors a unique experience and new way of exploring the research grounds. The National Arboretum is a division of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the main in-house research arm of USDA. This mobile app for Apple and Android builds off of the online Botanical Explorer tool (ABE) released in 2012.

One of Washington, D.C’s hidden treasures, the National Arboretum receives over 500,000 visitors annually. Covering over 440 acres and 9.5 miles of roads, the National Arboretum is a living museum and center for major botanical research and public education.

Built using Esri’s AppStudio for ArcGIS, the application is available for free download in the iTunes and Google Play stores.

The mobile app allows users to locate themselves on the grounds, easily find information about ongoing exhibits, as well as locate visitor services such as parking, restrooms and water fountains. Roam the grounds freely or take advantage of many pre-defined tours sized just right for the time you have, complete with individual stops, photos and descriptions.

For those looking to dig even deeper, individual plants records are displayed on the map and searchable by Name or Accession Number, and extensive scientific data are included for much of the collection.

Whether an avid explorer, a researcher or a first-time visitor, this interactive mobile application goes beyond the paper map to offer a unique experience for all users to investigate and learn more about the Arboretum than ever before.


Field Trial Success: Farming Sustainability With Esri Collector and ArcGIS Online

In 2016, The Proforest Initiative asked Blue Raster for help implementing their vision for an easy-to-use mobile-data-collection application coupled with an online dashboard for analysis and display.  Funded by the Global Forest Watch (GFW) Small Grants Fund, the project empowers Small-Holder palm oil farmers to collect and share information about their land with the ultimate goal of establishing tenancy and becoming RSPO certified. A field trial in Honduras was scheduled for summer, 2016.

Decision making:

After evaluating several possible solutions, Blue Raster and Proforest concluded that Esri Collector for ArcGIS and Survey 123  for mobile data collection along with Web APPBuilder for ArcGIS Online for display and analysis was the best fit for the pilot project.

Blue Raster helped create the mobile surveys by building forms in Spanish and adding GIS data including basemaps and imagery to be used in the field trial and dashboard. Proforest staff stopped by Blue Raster headquarters in Arlington, VA on their way to the field for in depth training and final review of the process before use.

The Proforest Initiative team continued on to Honduras to train Small-Holder farmers and associated staff in how to download, install and use the applications.

Success on the Ground:

The farmers were enthusiastic about their ability to locate their plots on the maps. Where up-to-date satellite imagery was available, the technical team and farmers used it to pinpoint farm boundaries on the app (in the field) and to discuss issues around their lands.

Associated staff and related groups immediately saw the possibilities of using the system to understand and manage deforestation and other sustainability risks.

 

The next step for 2017 is to scale up the technology and make the tools more widely available to smallholders around the world.

field collected and basemap data displayed on ArcGIS Online Web AppBuilder dashboard