Responding to COVID-19 through our partnership with Esri – Get Live Maps, Data and Resources
Open Data

Improving the APTA Industry Footprint

We are very proud to announce that we are in our fourth year of supporting the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Industry Footprint.  The APTA Industry Footprint is a public transportation industry map application that supports APTA’s mission of strengthening and improving public transportation through information sharing. Public transportation provides personal mobility, reduces traffic congestion, reduces our carbon footprint, and provides economic growth opportunities.

APTA promotes public transportation and advocates for continued support and funding from state and federal legislators.  This application displays APTA member locations around the nation, the breadth and depth of public transportation services offered, as well as key facts and statistics, all offered at the state and congressional district levels.  APTA also uses this tool to conduct “Washington Fly-Ins” with business members who meet with members of Congress and key congressional staff to explain why proposed cuts would threaten economic development, productivity and job growth across the country.

Manufacturers List by Congressional District

What’s new this year? We have added functionality and updated data feeds just in time for the 2017 APTA Expo and Annual Meeting which was held in Atlanta, Georgia from October 8 -11. The Expo attracted 12,000+ attendees exploring how innovation and technology accelerates every mode of public transportation. Updates to the application include:

  • Rail and Bus Manufacturer lists are now available for each Congressional member and State Upper and Lower Chamber Legislators
  • Updated public rail lines, Amtrak lines, and bus transit buffers across the country using the TransitFeeds API  TransitFeeds Logo

We encourage you to go APTA’s Industry Footprint to check out the public transportation available in your area and see active APTA members and Bus and Rail Manufacturers within your congressional and state districts.

Unlocking Data With WRI Open Data Portal

Blue Raster is excited to announce the release of the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Open Data Portal. indonesia_archive_firesBuilt with the open source platform CKAN, the Portal provides a centralized, searchable catalog of all data provided by WRI.

Historically, WRI projects published data online to the WRI website. But their site contained data from only a fraction of their projects and none of their international offices. The new data portal provides for the first time a full catalog of WRI datasets, including those not previously publicly available or searchable. Internally, the Portal is also providing a more streamlined process for uploading and hosting data, so that it is simpler for WRI staff to get data online and properly documented.


As part of the project, Blue Raster built a custom workflow to pull existing WRI datasets from ArcGIS Online into the Portal, including items from Global Forest Watch’s (GFW) Open Data site. Through a harvesting process, the Portal fetches and imports records along with each item’s metadata and tags. This enables WRI projects using ArcGIS Online to continue their existing workflows for publishing and managing data. Any changes made to data items in ArcGIS Online are automatically reflected in the Portal, allowing for easy data and documentation management.

Global Forest Watch Open Data

Because enabling users to more easily find and download content was also a key goal of the project, Blue Raster designed the Portal with a powerful search and discovery engine. The data portal supports dataset keyword searches, accompanied by tagging to allow further categorization, and the ability to discover related datasets and content.

Check out WRI’s Open Data Portal, and see how it is helping turn WRI’s data from information into action.


Untangling the Food System Web in Maryland

Blue Raster is proud to launch a completely redesigned Maryland Food System Map in partnership with Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future (CLF). This new interactive mapping application enables users to visualize and download data on food and public health in Maryland, providing visibility into topics including agricultural production, food insecurity and locally-sourced food options. Users can explore the map to better understand geographic patterns and trends in their community, create their own map, or download data for their own research and planning.

As part of this project, Blue Raster redesigned an existing application using modern JavaScript and HTML frameworks, upgraded the CLF data server, and optimized existing web services using Esri’s ArcGIS for Server to achieve a fast and responsive web experience. The new Maryland Food System Map is mobile, tablet, and user-friendly, and includes more than 175 data indicators that can be accessed and visualized with ease. Data are collected from a variety of sources, such as government databases, community organizations, and primary data collection and compilation. All data available on the site leverages the Center’s Esri Open Data Platform, where researchers and policy-makers throughout the state can search, view, and download data.

The application also has a number of new functions, including data filtering capabilities, and measure, search, and sharing tools. For example, users can build a map, zoom to a point of interest, and share the map they created through a unique URL. The map sharing tool enables users to post their maps on social media, or embed them on a website or blog.

“Maps can be powerful tools for generating insights into how food production, equity, access, and health are connected. We think that the new Maryland Food System Map will be a useful resource for anyone interested in learning more about local food systems—from community members, to students, food businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government officials. We are very excited that the new features will make it easier for people to explore and share information about our local food system, and we’re looking forward to seeing how these tools can help map the way to a healthier Maryland.”” 

– Caitlin Fisher, CLF Program Officer and manager of the Maryland Food System Map project

Be sure to check out the interactive mapping application today!

New Release: APTA Industry Footprint

Following the successful launch of American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Industry Footprint, Blue Raster has delivered Version 2. The web application provides users with a comprehensive understanding of the role of public transportation in their communities and throughout the United States. Given that public transportation provides essential mobility to people throughout the country, reduces congestion in crowded cities, and improves air quality, APTA hopes to encourage people to opt for it more often and fight for continued support and funding from state and federal legislators.

The latest version of Industry Footprint includes helpful new features:

  • Addition of bus and rail manufacturers to the map
  • Addition of state legislative upper and lower chambers to the map
  • Updated user interface

Now everyone can view APTA’s Transportation Industry Footprint to get key facts and statistics about where public transportation is available and how it’s being used in their state legislative and congressional district boundaries.

Blue Raster built upon the first version of the tool by integrating the Sunlight Foundation’s Open States API for up-to-date details on state legislators and state legislative districts. The transit information is obtained from TransitFeeds, which offers an extensive archive of standardized transit lines and schedules.

Finding the Right School with The College Map

Finding Schools is now easier than ever with the College Map, the first geographic search tool published by IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) providing access to over 7,000 certificate, undergraduate and graduate-level schools. This all-in-one tool enables students, parents and counselors to filter potential programs for location, major, tuition and more. Including both certificate-level programs and advanced degrees, this public application makes the often overwhelming process of school searching simple, and it’s available on mobile devices.

Mobile_ScreenshotOnce the results are narrowed down, users can share their lists on social media or download in excel format. Additionally, the College Map integrates with the College Navigator, a research based search tool providing data from the complete list of IPEDS Survey indicators.

The College Map is powered by the ArcGIS JavaScript API and ArcGIS for Server, and the tool leverages React JS, and ES6.

Page 2 of 3