Map Creation Made Easy With WRI’s MapBuilder

At Blue Raster, we pride ourselves on our longstanding relationships with our clients. We’ve been a steadfast partner with the World Resources Institute (WRI)—a research organization that works to solve global challenges—for many years, and in 2016, we helped them launch MapBuilder, a configurable ArcGIS Online template, for their Global Forest Watch (GFW) program. The GFW program is an online platform that grants users access to valuable, real-time information about the status of forests all around the world.


Making MapBuilder More User-Friendly

In 2022, our team assisted WRI with some updates to make MapBuilder more user-friendly for the general public to access and use. To do so, we created a WordPress site that provides a workflow to create a configuration file and offers step-by-step tutorials on the following:

  • How to set up an ArcGIS online account
  • How to create your own map within the MapBuilder application
  • How to share your map

WRI asked the question: “What if the general public could use their own inputs with WRI’s spatial data to create analytical, interactive maps that show forests, tree cover loss, land use, and more?” Blue Raster answered the call and now WRI’s MapBuilder tool allows users to create custom maps that combine their unique metrics with the global organization’s robust datasets and layers using ArcGIS Online. One of the most notable qualities of the application is that users can integrate it with both organizational and free ArcGIS Online accounts.

Integrating Deforestation Alerts

In addition to the public accessibility updates, WRI wanted to integrate deforestation alerts into MapBuilder, combining multiple deforestation calculations into one layer. With so many organizations now interested in forest conservation, MapBuilder gives any individual the ability to build their own maps and visualizations leveraging WRI's existing deforestation records. Users can access WRI's data and use the pre-designed ArcGIS Online template to input information and then output the results as a product to reference for research purposes.

Now more people can make educated, well-researched decisions on environmental priorities such as impact, restoration, or conservation thanks to the easy-to-use MapBuilder application and the updates that Blue Raster made in 2022. We look forward to continuing our partnership with WRI and helping change people’s lives and how they view and treat the world we live in.

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