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Parks

Using Drones to Advance Turfgrass Science at Green-Wood Cemetery

Last month, Blue Raster’s drone capabilities took flight. In a new initiative with Green-Wood Cemetery, Cornell University, and a group of turfgrass experts from across the United States, Blue Raster is using drones to help advance the science for confronting climate change in an urban landscape.

The issue at hand is the rapid spread of warm-season invasive grass species that impacts the aesthetics of the cemetery. This results in adaptive preventative maintenance practices and high costs to keep the cemetery looking beautiful. The group is studying alternatives and strategies that put Green-Wood on the cutting edge of urban climate change mitigation. This research is also applicable to any urban parks, public gardens, cemeteries and golf courses.

"Turf Guy" Dr. Frank Rossi of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University and Christopher Gabris from Blue Raster looking at high resolution drone imagery captured the day before

“Turf Guy” Dr. Frank Rossi of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University and Christopher Gabris from Blue Raster looking at high resolution drone imagery captured the day before

To study the spread of invasive grass throughout the year, Blue Raster flew a series of drone missions over the sprawling 478 acre cemetery. When additional missions fly for comparison, the data capture will provide high quality imagery that will identify invasive grass for measurement and monitoring throughout the year. Visit our Facebook album for more of the amazing aerial pictures.

Green-wood drone pictures

Using Esri’s Drone2Map and ArcGIS Online Web Scenes, Blue Raster was also able to deliver some 3D products, including the iconic gateway entrance and some large mausoleums.

Drone 3D imagery of iconic entrance

Stay tuned for updates on the project, the analysis, and the results of this very exciting turfgrass study!

Blue Raster attends the American Public Gardens Association Annual Conference

Blue Raster works with multiple public gardens and arboreta to develop web and mobile applications. These apps help to interactively map robust plant collections for the public, and provide workflows for internal facility and maintenance teams to work more efficiently.

This June, Blue Raster was a presenter at the American Public Gardens Association’s annual conference. Presenting alongside the Alliance for Public Gardens GIS, the presentation focused on Enterprise Configurations and GIS solutions for public gardens. Blue Raster was proud to present our recent work with the U.S. National Arboretum and the development of their mobile application, as well as automated field mobility workflows for plant maintenance and monument restoration tasks at Green-Wood Cemetery.

APGA Conference photo

APGA Conference photo

Hosted at the Disneyland Hotel in Southern California, the conference was a great opportunity to see how public gardens across the world are uniquely attracting visitors, storing their plant data and historic records, and collaborating with each other. A special behind-the-scenes tour with Disneyland arborists and a trip to The Getty Museum in Los Angeles were just some of the amazing events during the week.

Is your garden interested in mapping your plant collections? Do you want to take your visitor experience to the next level with a mobile application? Blue Raster is experienced with plant data and workflows. Each project is custom-designed to fit your specific needs. Learn more about our workflows how we can help you.

APGA Conference photo

Conserve and Protect with The Land Trust Alliance

Since 1982, the Land Trust Alliance has supported conservation by providing its over 1,000 member land trusts with education programs, legal insurance, and a voice in Washington speaking for conservationists. With the Find a Land Trust Map, the Alliance gives individuals around the country a means of identifying local organizations working on conservation.

The Land Trust Alliance set out to update the map with a modern, intuitive user interface while maintaining the previous map’s search and filter functionality. Blue Raster’s design team worked through several rounds of design and conducted user testing to ensure that users would be able to quickly find land trusts in their area. By including key information about protection priorities, acres under protection, and Accreditation status, the map makes it easy to find the right land trust.

Members can update the status and information associated with each Land Trust easily. Blue Raster used the latest technology to grab user submissions daily by running a, automated Lambda script hosted on Amazon Web Services and publishing updates to the data hosted on ArcGIS Online.

 

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