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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.

Department of Education

Understanding our Students with MapED

MapED is a primary source of geographic education and demographic data for students across the U.S.. The latest MapED launch brings exceptional updates to this platform both technically with the introduction of several new maps and visually in the redesign. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Education Demographic and Geographic Estimates (EDGE), Sanametrix, and Blue Raster all brought unique expertise to ensure that any student, parent, or education professional has access to compelling and up-to-date maps and data.


The ACS-ED Maps application is the latest exploratory tool to identify conditions of school-age children in school districts across the United States. Users can explore indicators such as poverty, health insurance coverage, and race to better understand the connections between students, school districts and their surroundings.

“The Census Bureau creates the ACS-ED custom tabulation for the NCES EDGE program to help measure social and economic conditions of school-age kids in local school districts. Those conditions can vary considerably across different parts of the U.S. and even within the same metropolitan area, so the goal of the ACS-ED Maps tool is to help people visualize school district socioeconomic conditions in their geographic context so they can better understand how location affects education.” – Doug Geverdt, Administrative Data Division, NCES


ACS-ED Map is updated annually with the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau. Browse indicators by total population or get more refined data for school-age children by narrowing the search to all children, children enrolled in any type of schooling, or children enrolled in public school.

ACS-ED maps support side-by-side comparison of indicators by allowing users to create two views within the same browser. Additionally, users can share out their map on Facebook, Email or Twitter. The application utilizes ArcGIS Server and the ArcGIS API for JavaScript.

Locale Lookup

The Locale Lookup application identifies the types of communities where schools are located. Explore Public Schools and School Districts from the Common Core of Data (CCD), Private Schools from the Private School Survey (PSS), and Post-Secondary Schools from the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) in relation to their Locale classification, from rural to city landscapes. The application utilizes ArcGIS Server and the ArcGIS API for JavaScript.

Education Data Leaves the Classroom with EDGE Geodata

Geography plays a vital role in our schools: both inside and outside the classroom. The new release of the Education Demographic and Geographic Estimates (EDGE) Geodata site gives the public access to authoritative, up-to-date geographic education data for the entire U.S. Using this data effectively helps to answer some of the most difficult questions that face our school systems today: How far are high schools to the nearest community college? How many low-income households are contained within a school district? How do students in rural schools compare in math and science to urban schools?

Blue Raster and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) EDGE Program believe that releasing this spatial data in an open, easy to use format is essential in making data-driven decisions on school funding, student poverty, and teacher supply and more.

The EDGE Geodata site contains a variety of data sorted into four Data Categories:

  1. K-12 Schools
    Survey data from the Common Core of Data (CCD) for over 100,000 schools across the United States and over 18,000 School District Office Locations updated annually, as well as School Attendance Boundaries for every elementary, middle, and high school across the United States collected bi-annually.
  2. Postsecondary Schools
    Over 7,000 Postsecondary School Locations across the United States collected by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) annually. This dataset includes Certification, Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Graduate programs.
  3. School Districts
    Developed by NCES EDGE Program, School District Boundary Composite files to provide public education for residents, released annually.
  4. Locale Boundaries
    Developed by NCES EDGE Program, a geographic locale framework that classifies all U.S. territory into twelve vategories ranging from Large Cities to Remote Rural areas.

Each dataset can be downloaded as full dataset, or filtered and then downloaded as a Spreadsheet, KML, or Shapefile, for use in GIS and non-GIS formats. Within the ArcGIS Open Data Platform, each dataset is available for further data drill-down in the API Explorer. Users can create custom Queries within the fields or apply spatial filters, and get outputs in JSON format.

All data items are hosted in the robust, cloud-based ArcGIS Online platform, and hosted in a custom configured Open Data site.

Partner of the Year: Federal Small Business Specialty

Blue Raster is excited to be recognized as the first ever Partner of the Year as part of the Esri Federal Small Business Specialty (FSBS) program. Each of the members has a unique opportunity to connect with the US Federal Government customers and other small business looking for the newest and most creative Esri solutions.

To learn more about our products and federal customers, visit us at the 2017 Esri Fed GIS Conference on February 13-14 at our booth near the small business pavilion, or catch one of our presentations at the Federal Conference:

  • “The Potential of Drones to support Forest and Chimpanzee Conservation”, Phil Satlof and Lillian Pintea from The Jane Goodall Institute, Esri’s Drone Zone, Hall B, Feb 13th at 2:20pm and Feb 14th at 2:00pm
  • “Applying Spatial Analysis Techniques to Make Better Decisions”, Kevin McMaster and Brett Rose from Esri, Feb. 14th, Room 145 A, 8:30am
  • “Small Business Partners Fostering Next Generation GIS”, Amy Ramsdell , Feb. 14th, EXPO Hall Workshop 2, 12:15pm
  • “Analysis and Geoprocessing in ArcGIS Pro”, Chris Gabris, Feb. 14th, Room 146, 4:00pm

Blue Raster has launched several Federal projects in the past year which are featured at the conference, including:

  • Critical Loads Mapper, built for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), helps better understand local and regional vulnerability to atmospheric pollution.
  • The College Map, a collaboration with Sanametrix, and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), is a search tool to geographically narrow down colleges and filter by major. state, school size, and other common search parameters.
  • STATcompiler and the DHS Program Mobile App now available in French, part of a longstanding partnership with USAID to disseminate demographic and health survey data for over 90 countries.

If you can’t make the Federal Conference, the entire Blue Raster team will be participating in the 2017 Esri Developer Summit March 7-10.

Geography Added to the Common Core!

Blue Raster, Sanametrix, and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announce the release the School & District Navigator. Working with the Common Core of Data (CCD), a program that annually collects data about all public schools and districts, the most up-to-date information and maps are now available via the new mapping tool.


The School & District Navigator displays a comprehensive selection of public schools and school districts across America, even specialized types such as public charter and special-education schools. Each school and district in the map comes with useful details and characteristics such as enrolled students, student/teacher ratio, grade span, and free and reduced lunch eligible enrolled students. Search parameters can be customized through the use of filters, which have been selected for the most common indicators. Narrowed results can be shared through Facebook or Twitter, or downloaded in an excel spreadsheet.

The map application enhances the capabilities of the existing CCD tools, Search for Public Schools and Search for Public School Districts, which enable the public to find essential information about public schools and districts, but lack geographic visualization. The School & District Navigator integrates with the original school search and district search engines by providing a link to each school or district’s profile within the search result details.

The ArcGIS API for JavaScript connects with ArcGIS for Server for access to institutional data and is developed using contemporary JavaScript, ES6, and ReactJS, making dynamic and interactive user interfaces seamless.

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.

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