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.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Magic of Maps: Presenting Esri StoryMap Beta

Blue Raster recently had the opportunity to create and present a StoryMap using the new ArcGIS StoryMaps (currently in Beta) for Esri’s “The Magic of Maps: How to Engage and Inspire Your Community” event. At this event, we were able to introduce our own thoughts on the new platform, as well as give advice on how organizations are able to utilize these tools successfully. The StoryMap itself, titled Measuring Success, goes into detail on how some of Blue Raster’s nonprofit partners are tracking progress of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. It addresses five of the seventeen SDGs and encompasses the work of The Demographic and Health Surveys Program, UNICEF, and The Nature Conservancy.

 

The Magic of Maps

The Magic of Maps

The presentation focused heavily on how organizations can be successful in the creation and utilization of their StoryMaps, including knowing the target audience, recognizing the potential of a successful StoryMap, and creating a concise and engaging design. Additionally we were able to showcase the features included in the new beta version of ArcGIS StoryMaps. With the new, modern platform users are able to pick and choose distinct elements to piece together, rather than having to select a set template. Uniform text and font size options also help to eliminate the complexity of styles and reduce design workload. Dynamic media types such as maps, videos, and images can be seamlessly integrated into a number of StoryMap features to further engage the audience. Most importantly, the new builder has a simplistic user interface that allows anyone regardless of prior experience (or lack thereof) to produce a professional-caliber StoryMap.

Special thanks to the members of the Blue Raster team who collaborated to create and present this StoryMap: Project Manager Christina Phang, UI/UX Designer Rachel Stock, GIS Intern Kelly Motzko, and GIS Intern Joe Nadonley.

You can view the slides and listen to the presentation here.

Sustainable World Conference in Geneva: Collaborating for a better world

The GIS for a Sustainable World conference in Geneva, Switzerland is an opportunity to develop long-term and collaborative relationships with global organizations interested in corporate sustainability and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). As a proud a sponsor of this Esri and UNOSAT event, we had the chance to share some of our GIS work that is making an impact on global sustainability efforts. This year’s conference theme focused on applying GIS to people, planet, prosperity, and peace, and how intelligent maps and apps can accelerate efforts to implement the SDGs.

GIS for a Sustainable World

Sustainable Business Panel Session

The Sustainable Business panel session provided an opportunity for participants to hear from experts in specific thematic areas and discuss issues pertaining to their use of GIS. During this session, Michael Lippmann presented our work with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) funded India Water Tool. This tool helps users understand their water risks and plan interventions for water management in India. Other presenters in the panel included Tijs Lips from Bunge, Adam Romo from ISEAL Alliance, and Michael Marus from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Interactive Breakout Sessions

In addition to hearing about sustainability challenges and successes from the many global organizations in attendance, Blue Raster Program Manager Phil Satlof had the opportunity to participate in a World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored Map-a-Thon. The “Map-A-Thon for Good” event gave participants a chance to learn important workflows for data validation, all while creating an open data set to share with the humanitarian community and beyond.Activity at the GIS for a Sustainable World ConferenceWe also participated in the interactive field GIS mobile data collection exercise. In this session, attendees got hands-on experience using the latest in Esri field mobility software. The Exploration Team collected data from around the conference venue, then viewed it on the Operations Dashboard.

Additionally, the Blue Raster team visited with clients at the World Health Organization (WHO) and enjoyed the sites around Geneva. Before heading home, the team visited Chamonix and Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps. GIS for a Sustainable World

Blue Raster sightseeing in Geneva

To read more about the conference, visit the information page.

 

Towards Zero Deforestation with GFW Pro

Hundreds of companies around the world have signed on to the United Nations (UC) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: Life on Land and pledged to work towards zero deforestation by 2020. However, meeting these commitments requires the ability monitor deforestation throughout their supply chains. Global Forest Watch Pro provides each organization a unique, secure environment to monitor and analyze these supply chains, and also helps these organizations demonstrate compliance with commitments and policies.

The application builds on the success of past GFW initiatives and leverages the comprehensive list of authoritative datasets curated by the World Resources institute. Data are served to the application from a variety of locations, such as ArcGIS Server, Amazon S3, and Carto DB. Users can upload lists of over 1,000 custom Areas of Interest (AOIs), which are quickly analyzed for deforestation on sensitive areas and by regional landcover types.  The application’s two diagnostics provide detailed historic deforestation measurements as well as industry specific risk scores. In addition, an alert dashboard provides real time monitoring capabilities and displays the latest GLAD Deforestation and VIIRS Fire alerts.

Supply Chain Analysis for Deforestation

 

GFW Pro leverages AWS Lambda to provide the intensive computational resources needed to quickly analyze these large custom lists while keeping costs as low as possible. Using the latest serverless technology, the application is quickly able to spin up as much compute power as needed to analyze each list, and then shut them down just as quickly. This allows the application to scale horizontally and processes thousands of user uploaded locations a day.

We are excited to see the impact GFW Pro will have on monitoring environmental impacts and global supply chains.