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.

Esri

Blue Raster Wins Esri’s StoryMap Challenge

 

Last week, Blue Raster attended and presented at the Esri Federal Business Partner StoryMaps Challenge and Open House at the Esri R&D office in Arlington, Virginia. Two of our team members, Rachel Stock and Andrew Patterson, visited the R&D center for the day long competition. Our StoryMap about mapping America's wine regions was selected as the winner. This provided our team a chance to present about the making of the StoryMap at the Esri Open House.

Behind-the-scenes look at producing the StoryMap:

Making of the StoryMap pictures

The Geography of Wine focuses on Blue Raster's work digitizing over 270 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). In addition to this work, we made the maps explorable to the public through the AVA Map Explorer application. The app allows users to view current and proposed AVAs, as well as submit proposals for brand-new AVAs.

StoryMap photo of a vineyard

Blue Raster’s story map about our TTB work highlights the importance of AVAs and features some of the most geographically unique AVAs from around the country. Additionally, it points out that, with GIS, we can provide location intelligence to the American Wine Industry.

View the winning StoryMap about mapping America’s wine regions, and learn more about our TTB work and creation of the AVA Map Explorer.

ArcGIS Maps for Microsoft Power BI: Make Spatially Informed Business Decisions

What is Microsoft Power BI?

Power BI is an award-winning business intelligence tool created by Microsoft as a single hub for tracking and managing many diverse assets within a given organization. The Power BI platform consists of widget-based analytical tiles from both Microsoft and their various partners. These tiles allow for a simple, professional, and customizable visualization of otherwise unmanageable amounts of business data. The straightforward user interface and intelligent feature construction means that dashboard setup and asset management is now faster and easier than ever before.

Let Blue Raster create and optimize custom maps in Microsoft Power BI to give you more control over your data than ever before.

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ArcGIS Maps Integration

ArcGIS Maps within Microsoft Power BI contains many map-building elements that are similar to those found in other Esri products, such as ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online. The configuration tab is highly user-friendly, featuring “drag & drop” field population and automatic detection of spatial data types. ArcGIS Maps for Power BI accepts both point and polygon data types. It can recognize fields that contain standard administrative boundaries (such as zip codes, counties, states, etc). Automated geocoding of point locations and polygon centroid calculation help to reduce the time and effort of spatial data management.

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ArcGIS Maps for Microsoft Power BI provides basemaps and reference layers that are crucial to understanding the spatial context of business data. There are numerous basemaps to choose from to ensure a visualization that complements the symbology of spatially referenced assets. Changing the color schemes of data is also easy to do, with many hand-picked combinations and editable classification settings. Meanwhile, reference layers containing verified spatial data such as Median Household Income or Biodiversity Hotspots are great for showing the underlying geographic or demographic characteristics at any scale. Simple infographics cards display summaries of multiple key factors based on the extent of the map viewer.

The functionality of ArcGIS Maps for Microsoft Power BI also extends to light spatial analysis in the form identifying geographic patterns and relationships. Heat maps and clustering functions allow for the aggregation of data into overarching groups and regions, while location pins and drive time analysis help to evaluate smaller localities around individual assets. The maps editor even features support for temporal animation with a field that transfers time data into a dynamic map sequence.

Understanding the Geography of Business

Large companies with numerous clients, facilities, and/or assets often receive vast amounts of spatial data that go completely unused. ArcGIS Maps for Microsoft Power BI allows companies to harness the true potential of asset location in order to improve their business revenue and productivity.

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This program takes data connection and shared business management to the next level. Any interaction or data selection within the ArcGIS Maps tile reflects in corresponding changes to data visualizations across all other analytical tiles. Collaboration is also easier than ever before, as Power BI allows users to share everything from individual figures to entire dashboards with just a few clicks.

Blue Raster is currently developing a Power BI dashboard and map application to visualize, analyze and track data and information for an important health project. The Tracking with Recency Assays to Control the Epidemic (TRACE) project is a new initiative that will contribute to the global fight to reach HIV epidemic control. Because the dashboard application needs to be accessible and usable by many users in many scenarios, the Blue Raster and TRACE teams decided on the ideal combination of Microsoft Power BI and Esri ArcGIS Online.

We are excited to grow our Power BI team and enhance our clients' business intelligence with the power of location data using ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.

Let Blue Raster kickstart your organization’s spatially integrated business dashboard. Contact us today!

ArcGIS Solutions for Emergency Management Workshop

Emergency Managment Disaster Response training

Both man-made hazards and natural disasters significantly impact populations across the globe. Advanced preparation is becoming more critical than ever, especially within the government entities that manage crisis response and emergency management. To answer this demand, Esri has organized a new category of out-of-the-box toolsets designed to mitigate the risk of hazards and delegate resources in the wake of disasters.

ArcGIS Solutions for Emergency Management encompasses a range of products that help emergency management officials to manage response resources and visualize events as they occur across time and space. Earlier this month, the Blue Raster team attended a workshop on this program set at Esri’s Redlands Campus in Southern California. This event focused heavily on the Emergency Management Operations Gallery group, which features seven applications with seven unique maps and 33 total feature layers.

Emergency Management Disaster Response training
Emergency Management Disaster Response

Our team gained significant experience with each of the applications, from configuration to deployment. We were particularly impressed by the cross-component integration and real-time feature updates. Once properly configured, this toolset features an extremely user-friendly interface with numerous options for customization of outputs and data visualization. Furthermore, one-click data inputs and feature updates result in fast and efficient communication of changing conditions.

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Blue Raster is excited to add ArcGIS Solutions for Emergency Management to our continuously growing line of GIS professional services. We look forward to being able to contribute to emergency management preparedness and disaster response efforts.

ArcGIS Urban: Take City Development Further

Blue Raster Project Manager Megan Gottfried took her ArcGIS Urban skills to the next level at Esri’s "Deploying ArcGIS Urban" training. The training, held in San Diego just before Esri’s annual User Conference, included other Esri business partners, distributors, and advanced level users from around the world.

ArcGIS Urban is gaining significant attention in the GIS and City Planning & Development industries. The platform is a complete solution allowing municipal planning departments and development-focused NGOs to improve urban planning practices and decision-making on a city-wide scale. Users can use ArcGIS Urban to create 3D renderings of city landscapes, proposed buildings, and compare proposed site projects across key stakeholders.

ArcGIS Urban case study

Megan Gottfried used San Francisco as a study area for development and used ArcGIS Urban technology to assist the city’s urban planners with the growing issue of overcrowding. Key program features such as theoretical population and employment projections helped officials to understand the regional severity of the problem and work to find innovative solutions, while 3D building renderings with zoning and building setback details gave realistic building city scapes for user exploration.

San Francisco City
"Today's advanced GIS software can now model cities in 3D and integrate the full planning workflow, thereby dramatically enhancing efficiency and effectiveness."

- Scott Edmondson, Senior Strategic Sustainability Planner for the City of San Francisco

Other highlights of the training session included a product demo and an overview of the ArcGIS Urban system. in addition, Megan Gottfried was able to learn both the back-end and front-end ArcGIS Urban platform and provide clients with tips and best practices for deployment. Megan tested the many features of the ArcGIS Urban program and created sample projects & planning files for the San Francisco area. The event concluded with a Q&A session where Megan and her colleagues were able to ask questions about the program and troubleshoot some of their problems.

ArcGIS Urban Site Project

Learn More

Blue Raster is excited to begin offering ArcGIS Urban solutions for our clients. Are you interested in harnessing the power of informed planning for your business or municipality? Contact us today!

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Esri User Conference 2019: The Blue Raster Experience

Esri UC: The SuperBowl of the Geospatial Industry

The Esri User Conference is the biggest GIS event of the year. This year, the San Diego Convention Center was once again filled with a record-breaking number of geolocation enthusiasts; over 17,000 attendees. The Blue Raster team was excited to participate and showcase our latest work, meet new friends and learn from other GIS professionals.

Blue Raster Team at Esri UC 2019
Blue Raster Team at Esri UC 2019

With ideas flying and new technologies being unveiled, we walked away excited for what is to come:

  • Esri ArcGIS Hub – It was amazing to see all the ways cities and organizations are partnering with residents, non-profits, business, and universities through ArcGIS Hub. The Hub work that the City of Zwolle, Netherlands, and the District of Columbia government are doing was super inspiring!
  • ArcGIS Urban – This is the ultimate city planning tool. It takes into account setbacks, zoning regulations and overrides, and provides capabilities to compare large-scale 3D projects across multiple parcels and development projects.
  • ArcGIS Indoors – ArcGIS Indoors is enabling organizations to provide the ultimate workplace experience for employees through workplace maps and location data to better manage workplace operations. We are proud to announce our new ArcGIS Indoors specialty from Esri.
  • ArcGIS Enterprise 10.7.1 – This new version of ArcGIS Enterprise has reduced server memory requirements have by 95%. This means that the same hardware should be able to do MUCH more now.

The conference kicked off with the Opening Plenary featuring Dr. Jane Goodall and an exciting new StoryMap, ENGAGE – LISTEN – UNDERSTAND – ACT, that the Jane Goodall Institute and Blue Raster teamed up to create. Built with the brand new StoryMaps for ArcGIS template, this story map outlines concerns over chimpanzee populations and the environment, the steps in the process of 'Tacare' approach toward conservation, and success stories with this conservation approach. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the Jane Goodall Institute and meet Jane and her team at the UC conference this year. We hope to see Jane in DC when she visits in September.

Jane Goodall and the Blue Raster Team
Jane Goodall and the Blue Raster Team
Danny Cassiday at Esri UC 2019
Danny Cassiday at Esri UC 2019

On Monday, one of our GIS Analysts, Danny Cassiday, brought his knowledge to sunny California to present a lightning talk "My Life as a (Version) Control Freak: Versioning ArcGIS Online Items with Python" sharing his experiences and thoughts on applications of Python in versioning ArcGIS Online items.

On Tuesday, Blue Raster was proud to sponsor and attend the Sustainable World Social, a networking event focusing on the applications of GIS in the context of conservation and sustainability.

Following the social, we headed over to our annual Fish Taco Night at the South Beach Bar & Grille.

Blue Raster Taco Night  at South Beach Bar & Grille
Blue Raster Taco Night
Blue Raster Taco Night
Blue Raster Taco Night
Blue Raster Team at Taco Night
Blue Raster Team at Taco Night

We enjoyed seeing all those who stopped by our booth this year, from professionals in conservation and forest management to real estate development and utility support. We were able to demo some of our latest applications and invited attendees to visit our Map Gallery Posters. The Gallery featured our work with Forest Stewardship Council providing an interactive outlet through ArcGIS Operations Dashboards to explore where FSC Certified Forests and Certificates currently are located for verification and accountability purposes as well as our partnership with The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program, USAID, UNICEF, and the Nature Conservancy utilizing ArcGIS StoryMaps to track the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals. We also had the opportunity to display a poster covering the drone missions we flew with The Green-Wood Cemetery using Esri’s Drone2Map and ArcGIS Online Web Scenes to provide high-quality imagery that will identify invasive grass for measurement and monitoring in partnership with Cornell University.

Forest Products without Compromise map
Measuring Success map
Improving Drone Missions with Lidar Support map

Wednesday evening was family night, allowing us to engage with the entire GIS community and interact with enthusiasts, young and old. Our Blue Raster temporary tattoos were a hit with the kiddos! Between our booth on the expo floor, the many sessions and socials, family night, and our legendary fish taco night, we had so many wonderful moments. Check out some of our favorites:

Family Night at Esri UC 2019
Family Night at Esri UC 2019
Christina passing out candy at Family Night.
Christina passing out candy at Family Night.
Some of our favorite moments from the UC this year
Some of our favorite moments from the UC this year
Blue Raster booth for Esri UC 2019
Blue Raster booth for Esri UC 2019
Our Blue Raster women in GIS Esri UC 2019
Our Blue Raster women in GIS Esri UC 2019

Interested in working with us?

Reach out to see how we can help you harness GIS technologies, mapping solutions, and data analysis to tackle the challenges you face.


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