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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.


Clearview Analytics Tool: Accelerating Economic Insight

Avenu Insights, a company focused on improving and maintaining revenue streams for state and local governments, and Blue Raster have just released the first iteration of the Clearview Analytics Economic Development Insights (EDI) tool. The Economic Development tool provides key insights to cities and counties to attract new business, plan future investments, and understand the competitive landscape. The tool is completely interactive and allows users to enter, analyze, and export data for their unique area of interest.

Input an address or select a point on the map to create reports using drive time distances that visualized areas of economic influence and reach

Economic Insights

The new tool uses Avenu Insight's Property Tax and Commercial Sales Tax in combination with ArcGIS GeoEnrichment and Analysis capabilities for site-level analysis of tax revenue. Some of the features of this tool include:

  • Integration with key Demographic and Economic indicators from the ArcGIS GeoEnrichment API to assess market suitability
  • Drive-Time Analysis capabilities from ArcGIS Online to set market areas of interest
  • Up-to-date Property and Sales Tax Revenue data on a quarterly reporting basis, broken down by NAICS code at the individual property level

Providing cities and counties this analysis tool is critical in supporting the economic growth and future success within that landscape. With this tool, businesses and Governments can answer a variety of questions they might have:

"What is the current composition a specific area by business sector?" or "How much growth has retain seen in the central business district in the past few years?"


Econimic Insight tool

For a limited time, Avenu is offering a Free Trial of the Clearview EDI tool for your jurisdiction. Don't miss this opportunity to be a pioneer for this tool and provide feedback for future iterations.

Blue Raster worked closely with Avenu Insights to build out this tool through design, development, deployment using the latest Esri Enterprise 10.7.1, the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, and Esri's Geoenrichment API. In addition, our team worked with Avenu Insights to configure and maintain their ArcGIS Enterprise Server. Our team is excited to continue GIS analysis and capabilities which support healthy economies.

Want to learn more about GIS for Economic Insight?

Contact us today!

Virtualizing ArcGIS in the Cloud

Blue Raster helps clients achieve rapid, cost-effective cloud solutions for server and application hosting. Our team is now taking this concept a step further to completely Virtualize your ArcGIS Environment. As an Amazon Web Service and Microsoft Azure partner, our team strives to understand the latest ways to use GIS systems more efficiently.Amazon Web Service Partner

Coupled with ArcGIS Pro, an application which handles licensing completely in the cloud, our team has been able to provide full GIS work spaces for several organizations. Our team works with a variety of cloud hosting options including AWS WorkSpaces, AWS AppStream, and Azure Virtual Desktops, each of these options providing a variety of benefits:

  • Removes Operating System requirements
  • Eliminates the need for high performance hardware
  • Offers scalable solutions for organizations with many software users
  • Utilizes the ArcGIS Pro Parallel Processing capabilities, allowing multiple CPU, cores, or processes to work on a large job at the same time
  • Provides more cost efficient solutions for long running, highly intensive workflows

Blue Raster is working with the Natural Resource Defense Council and the Demographic and Healthy Surveys Program to build all encompassing cloud environments. The pilot cloud environment Esri ArcGIS Pro Cloud hooks into existing systems and caters to the needs of the organization. For example, the addition of Amazon FSx and Attached Storage to easily share files from a local, network, or virtual desktop drive. Our team can also integrate these work spaces with previously existing Active Directory and Single Sign On (SSO) technologies for large-scale, organizational access.

Ben Mayala, the Senior GIS Coordinator at the Demographic and Health Surveys Program, has been using his Amazon Web Service WorkSpace to run complex, statistic and spatial analysis which was not only taking days to complete, but completely using up machine resources while doing so.

"So far the WorkSpace is really good. It's loading the Geospatial Covariates super fast, data extractions are super fast, and I've already gotten through over half my work" 

Ready to find out more?

Contact us today to learn about ways we can make the cloud work for you.

2019 Esri Mid-Atlantic User Group Conference: Five Major Takeaways from our GIS Team

Blue Raster was a proud sponsor of the Esri Mid-Atlantic User Group Conference in Philadelphia, PA. In addition to showcasing our work and connecting with Esri users, members of the Blue Raster GIS Team attended technical sessions and workshops. The two-day event brought together over 400 Esri users and GIS professions from around the region seeking to advance their organizations and workflows with the latest GIS technology offerings.

Esri Mid-Atlantic User Group Conference

The Plenary featured presentations by Esri’s cartographer and user experience designer, John Nelson, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and technology presentations by Esri staff. This year’s conference theme was titled “GIS - The Intelligent Nervous System,” a reference to the intricate communication system in the human body responsible for detecting, transmitting, and communicating vital information across complex network of nerves.

Esri Mid-Atlantic User Group Conference
Esri's cartographer and user experience designer, John Nelson, led the plenary session.

5 Takeways from the Esri Mid-Atlantic Conference

The Esri Mid-Atlantic conference helped provide answers to these questions: What is new? What has been improved and updated? What can we anticipate in the future?

1. GIS technologies are constantly advancing.

As an industry leader in GIS software, Esri’s applications and tools are constantly evolving to suit the needs of an increasingly diverse range of customers. From education to AEC (architecture, engineering and construction), Esri is at the forefront of product development for an increasing number of GIS users. It is important for Blue Raster to attend Esri’s conferences to ensure we remain informed about the latest developments in the field. As a result, this allows us to build capacity in our team and our clients when it comes to GIS workflows.

2. Building connections face-to-face improves our understanding of what GIS users need.

Throughout the conference, we had the opportunity to meet and speak with GIS users from around the region. These face-to-face interactions allowed us to gain a more nuanced understanding of how organizations are using GIS to address problems at a variety of scales. This only reinforces the importance of stepping away from our desks and attending these conferences. The importance of face-to-face discussions in a constantly evolving industry is just as important as the work we do from our computers.

Esri Mid-Atlantic User Conference

3. For local and state governments, GIS happens at the smallest scales.

From water utilities to curbside maintenance, city governments are eager to leverage GIS workflows to track and manage their assets and workforce. Unique to this scale is the need for precision and accuracy. As a result, government GIS users must have a deep and intimate understanding of their cities. Esri products cater to these needs through a large selection of highly customizable field and web applications.

4. For small municipalities and city governments, Emergency Management Preparedness and Mitigation is happening right now.

Adjusting and preparing for a changing global climate can often seem like an overwhelming task, but for local governments and municipalities being prepared to face this change is happening right now. Furthermore, small municipalities are keenly aware of the specific risks and needs of their communities and are eager to leverage whatever technology is available to manage assets and personal in times of crisis. This desire to be ready and up to date on the newest uses of GIS for Emergency Management was evident in the high attendance of all three Emergency Management focused session of the conference.

5. GIS technology isn’t just for the GIS industry.

Throughout the two day Esri Mid-Atlantic Conference the Blue Raster team had the chance to talk to attendees, other sponsors, and Esri professionals. An overarching theme was that GIS is involved in countless sectors of business and professional industries, from architects to civil engineers and city planners, GIS professionals, non-profit community development groups, educators and students, and local and county government employees. We are excited to see how The Science of Where continues to expand.

Field Report: Supporting TRACE in Eswatini, Rwanda, and Ethiopia

Implementing a business intelligence platform requires users to think critically about the business questions they want their data to inform and the underlying data systems that will feed their data visualizations. Blue Raster has had the unique opportunity to work with ICAP (of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health), the University of California San Francisco, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and Ministries of Health around the globe to put their data to work to end the HIV epidemic.

Ending the HIV Epidemic with Data

There has been significant progress over the past decade in the global health response to HIV, and the end of the HIV pandemic is within reach. Global health programs and Ministries of Health need high-quality, real time data in order to target the right interventions to the right populations at the right time, and we’re using Power BI and Esri ArcGIS Online to achieve these goals.

TRACE Initiative

Blue Raster and ICAP are working on the TRACE initiative (Tracking with Recency Assays to Control the Epidemic), establishing HIV recent infection surveillance systems in routine HIV services to detect, characterize, monitor, and intervene on recent infection among newly diagnosed people living with HIV (PLHIV). We are supporting the implementation of Power BI and ArcGIS to provide real-time data about recent infections and to deliver this data quickly to decision makers.

HIV Data Power BI dashboard

Power BI & ArcGIS Online

  • Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets users visualize data and share insights for real-time decision making.
  • ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based mapping and analysis solution that we’re using to make maps and perform rich geospatial analysis

Over the past few months, Blue Raster has been in the field with the ICAP team to:

  • Introduce Power BI and ArcGIS online as a data visualization platform.
  • Illustrate the analytic capabilities of the tools to the Ministries of Health and national Public Health entities

Blue Raster and ICAP walked through different implementation options with country teams, considering existing data systems and analytic tools. In addition, it was critical that HIV data get to the decision makers in a timely and usable format.

In Rwanda:


  • Held meetings with local implementing partners and the Ministry of Health and decided on Power BI and ArcGIS online licensing and deployment
TRACE in Rwanda
Bheki Magagula of ICAP Maps out the Rwanda Data Flow

In Eswatini:


  • We facilitated discussions in which the Ministry of Health team and the ICAP team came to a deployment decision quickly.
  • The teams were able to spend time working in Power BI and shaping the data in the back end of the system.
TRACE in Rwanda
Mpumelelo Ndlangamanga of ICAP works with Blue Raster on Visuals in Power BI

In Ethiopia:

  • Held a week-long training providing tailored content to data consumers, developers, and administrators (with participants from Ethiopia Public Health Institute, ICAP, and CDC)
  • Data consumers worked in Power BI and walked through decision making exercises using sample data.
  • Developers and admins walked through Power BI as a whole, from ingesting data to publishing/sharing reports to monitoring usage and incorporating end-user feedback.
TRACE in Ethiopia
Power BI Developers from Ethiopia Public Health Institute, CDC, and ICAP

These introductory workshops and trainings are just the beginning of our work with ICAP and country teams. Stay tuned to the blog for details on how this data is being used and how the trainings are adding value to the daily work of those on the front lines of ending the HIV epidemic.

Moving forward, ICAP and Blue Raster will have the opportunity to work with other countries in Sub Saharan Africa. For more information about the TRACE initiative and the countries we work in, please see https://trace-recency.org/ or visit our blog post.

GIS Day at Blue Raster

GIS Day is a day dedicated to showing, teaching, and inspiring others. For the eighth year in a row, Blue Raster hosted students from Washington-Liberty High School and demonstrated real world applications of GIS. Led by teacher Ryan Miller, the students have the chance to learn about geospatial technologies through a program called Geospatial Semester.


The Blue Raster team shared real-world GIS success stories through a round of lightning talk presentations on recent and ongoing projects. Despite the cold November weather, we ventured outside and collected temperature data from around the Arlington area. Then, the students collaborated on an Esri Operations dashboard to visualize the data.

GIS Day Dashboards


We wrapped up our day with a pizza lunch and ice cream from the Penn State creamery. We look forward to next year and a new group of students!




Read more about Blue Raster's past GIS Day activities here.

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