Our Work

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Enabling cooperative engagement within the Asian American Community

The diverse Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities, with origins spanning over 42 countries in Asia and 15 countries in the Pacific, often face the challenge of being homogenized despite their rich cultural tapestry. Compounded by the presence of numerous ethnic groups within each origin country, each with distinct migration histories, understanding the nuanced complexity of these communities and effectively catering to their needs becomes imperative.

In response to this challenge, the Asian American Unity Coalition (AAUC) collaborating with its technology partner, Blue Raster Inc.,  are employing the power of GIS technology to shed light on the complexity of the diverse AANHPI communities. Through this collaboration and the dashboard application, we have undertaken a comprehensive exploration of the characteristics of various ethnic groups from East, Southeast, and South Asia, Syria, Yemen, as well as Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Hawaii.

The heart of this application lies in its ability to offer a comprehensive directory of Asian American nonprofit organizations across the United States. This invaluable resource retrieved from the IRS database provides a wealth of information about each organization, including its name, type, website, EIN (Employer Identification Number), classification, location by state and address, contact details, year formed, last year filing, income, and assets. This single, centralized platform streamlines access to essential information, making it easier than ever for individuals and entities to engage with and support AAPI nonprofits.

The AAPI Network Application

Asian American Unity Coalition Dashboard-1

The AAPI interface was developed with ArcGIS Experience Builder with ArcGIS dashboards embedded into the Experience Builder application to allow users to interact with the data, map and chart functionalities. Additionally, the Blue Raster team utilized ArcGIS Survey123 to configure a feedback form to allow organizations currently not in the network to seamlessly add and map their organizational info into the network inventory. Behind the Survey123 form, Blue Raster also developed an ArcGIS Reviewer Instant App to allow administrators to review and update survey entries. The application was also configured for web and mobile functionality. 

Benefits to the Asian American Community

One of the most significant benefits of this dashboard is its capacity to empower users with well-informed choices. Individuals looking to support Asian American nonprofits can now easily identify organizations aligning with their interests and values. Whether it’s civil rights, arts and humanities, religious, healthcare, or other areas, users can make decisions based on their preferences and contribute to causes they are passionate about. This newfound transparency ensures that resources are channeled more effectively towards causes that truly matter. By serving as a hub for the AAPI nonprofit network, this ArcGIS dashboard promotes greater synergy among organizations. Collaboration and networking are essential components of community-building, and this tool simplifies the process.

Organizations can identify potential partners, discover complementary initiatives, and collectively work towards the betterment of the AAPI community. Nonprofits can use this platform to expand their reach, connect with a broader audience, and raise awareness about their missions and initiatives. ArcGIS’s scalability and adaptability means it can be tailored to various needs and industries, from environmental conservation to public health and beyond. Its user-friendly interface ensures that users of all technical backgrounds can access valuable insights, making it a versatile tool that empowers organizations to unlock the full potential of their data.

Asian American Unity Coalition Dashboard-2 Asian American Unity Coalition Dashboard-3

The integration of GIS mapping has facilitated the identification of the geographic distribution of these ethnic communities. The dynamic dashboard application seamlessly interconnects the collected information, allowing users to apply filters based on state, purpose, and ethnicity. Currently, our initiative has identified over 16,500 nonprofit AANHPI organizations in all 50 states, with approximately 15,000 of them geocoded. Recognizing the need for a more comprehensive dataset, we aspire to expand the AAPI network to include over 20,000 organizations, necessitating continuous data validation and updates in sync with the IRS’s regular data refresh cycles.

Contact us today to learn more about this initiative and how Blue Raster can support your organization

 

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Blue Raster at the 2024 Esri User Conference

Blue raster at the 2024 Esri User Conference

We're looking forward to the 2024 Esri User Conference in San Diego on July 15-19. 

Our team of experts will be on hand to showcase what we've been up to. Find us on the Expo floor (booth #2326, near the Hands on Learning Lab) and learn more about our work. We are especially excited to share our latest work with state and local governments, cloud solutions, AEC and renewable energy projects, and conservation and nonprofit initiatives.

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Set up time to meet with our team!

Find us on the Expo Floor using the UC Event Map

Blue Raster Booth location
Blue Raster sunglasses at the 2024 Esri User Conference

2024 Esri User Conference Map Gallery

We will have three posters on display in the Map Gallery. We're highlighting our work with ICF & USAID on Food SecurityAAUC Connecting the Asian American Community with GIS, and Tracking Opportunities in America’s Historic Main Street Districts with Main Street America. Find our maps and visit with the Blue Raster team after the Plenary.

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Schedule time with the Blue Raster team!

Revitalizing Main Street: Tracking Community Opportunities with BOOMS Tracker

Main Street districts across America, once vibrant centers of community life and economic activity, have faced significant challenges over recent decades. Economic shifts, suburbanization, and changing retail landscapes have left many of these historic areas struggling with vacant buildings, underutilized spaces, and a decline in local businesses. The need to revitalize these districts is critical for preserving cultural heritage, fostering economic growth, and enhancing community resilience.

Picture of historic main street buildings.

Addressing Community Challenges with Main Street America

Main Street America, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting traditional commercial districts, has launched the Building Opportunities on Main Street (BOOMS) Tracker to address the issues these areas are now facing. This innovative property inventory tool helps local Main Street leaders collect and analyze data on housing units, businesses, and civic spaces within their districts. By identifying development opportunities in vacant buildings, lots, and upper floors, the BOOMS Tracker provides actionable insights to drive revitalization efforts.

How Does the BOOMS Tracker Work?

  • Mobile Access: Users access district-specific ArcGIS Hub pages on their mobile devices to begin data collection.
  • Detailed Surveys: By selecting a parcel on the map, users complete detailed surveys to capture property information.
  • Real-Time Analysis: Collected data is analyzed and visualized to reveal opportunities, with statistics calculated in real time.
  • Aggregated Insights: Information is aggregated at regional and national levels to support decision-making and policy changes.

Users Access the Survey123 through an Experience Builder App

Users access the ArcGIS Survey123 through an Experience Builder app embedded in an ArcGIS Hub Page

ArcGIS Dashboard visualizing survey results

Data collected is analyzed and visualized in ArcGIS Dashboards to support decision making

The Impact of the BOOMS Tracker

The BOOMS Tracker serves as a central repository for valuable information about the built environment in each district. Insights derived from this tool empower local leaders to make authoritative decisions on housing and land use, driving revitalization efforts. Furthermore, aggregated data at larger regional and national levels provides evidence to influence policy changes and attract more investment into existing buildings.

Blue Raster's Role in Supporting Main Street America

At Blue Raster, we are proud to support the Main Street America's initiative with our expertise in geospatial technology. Utilizing tools such as ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Hub Premium, ArcGIS Survey123, ArcGIS Experience Builder, ArcGIS Dashboards, and the ArcGIS API for Python, we have developed the BOOMS Tracker to help communities visualize and analyze their data effectively. Our work supporting Main Street America ensures that local leaders have the tools they need to revitalize their downtown areas and promote sustainable growth.

Although the full functionality of the BOOMs Tracker is only available to designated Local and Coordinating Programs within the Main Street network, the public can access the BOOMS Tracker home page to see high-level statistics and the collection progress leaderboard.  Visit the BOOMS Tracker and Main Street America for more information.

BOOMS Tracker Public Statistics

BOOMS Tracker Public Statistics

BOOMS Tracker Collection Progress Leaderboard

BOOMS Tracker Collection Progress Leaderboard

BOOMS Tracker Homepage

BOOMS Tracker Homepage

Learn More About Our Work

Discover how Blue Raster’s advanced geospatial solutions can support your projects. Contact us today to learn how our expertise can make a difference in your efforts to improve community resilience and economic vitality. Click here to learn more.

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Mapping Food Security: Blue Raster and USAID Zones of Influence

Blue Raster is excited to announce another collaboration with ICF International. In addition to The Demographic and Health Surveys Program,  Blue Raster partners with ICF for the Surveys for Monitoring in Resilience and Food Security (SMRFS) project. This initiative, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Resilience, Environment, and Food Security (REFS) and Feed the Future, focuses on monitoring progress towards combating global hunger and enhancing food security through advanced data collection and analysis.

According to ICF, “Data collected through these efforts will support monitoring and evaluation of important U.S. government strategies like the Multi-sectoral Nutrition Strategy, the Global Water Strategy and the Feed the Future Global Food Security Strategy. “

Leveraging GIS for Impact

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) play a crucial role in the SMRFS project. The team utilizes ArcGIS for planning and producing detailed reports that highlight the Zones of Influence (ZOI). These maps are indispensable tools for policymakers and stakeholders, providing clear visualizations of critical data.

SMRFS food security project map SMRFS food security project map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Raster’s Role

Blue Raster supports SMRFS with our expertise in geospatial technology:

  • PowerBI Dashboards: We have created dynamic dashboards to visualize survey monitoring results effectively.
  • On-Demand Maps: Our team produces detailed maps for comprehensive reporting.
  • GIS Training Curriculum: We developed an in person training program for project partners in Uganda, ensuring they can effectively understand how to utilize GIS tools.

Explore More

Discover more about the project at this link, and learn how Blue Raster is contributing to global food security efforts through our innovative projects on our website.

At Blue Raster, we are committed to using cutting-edge geospatial solutions to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, ensuring a more resilient and food-secure future. 

Contact us today to get started.

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Blue Raster Takes to the Skies at Holden Forests & Gardens

On a beautiful April morning in Northeast Ohio, Blue Raster made final preparations for a drone basemap capture. Located in Kirtland, about 30 minutes East of Downtown Cleveland, is the sprawling 3,600-acre Holden Arboretum, one of the largest public gardens in the county. With over 20,000 annual member households and an annual attendance of over 350,000 visitors, people flock to see the beauty of the different landscapes in search of inspiration, education, and peace.

On this day, Blue Raster was tasked to capture approximately 300 acres of the curated collections and gardens (the rest being mostly natural lands) with a drone to create a high-resolution basemap for use by staff and in a future public application. After a brisk morning drive in the golf cart to review the locations of the preset ground control points, the drone was ready to fly.

Blue Raster’s Associate Project Manager and Drone Pilot, Ben Masters, explained to the Holden Team along for the ride how the drone would capture the images, the planned flight paths, altitude, and speed, and provided a safety moment. In four separate planned missions, over 1,400 images were captured in a matter of hours. Then it was off to the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the second institution in the Holden Forests & Gardens family, to capture the approximately 10 acres located in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood.

Combined, the five drone missions and over 1,700 images captured were processed for the two sites using Esri’s ArcGIS Drone2Map software. The high-resolution and current imagery allows for accurate GIS and mapping workflows. Over the next few weeks, Blue Raster will prepare the basemap for use in Holden’s ArcGIS Enterprise environment. Everything from workflows in ArcGIS Field Maps to the future public application will utilize this basemap. Holden Forests and Gardens has nearly 20,000 individual living plant records in their botanical repository, BG-BASE, which will be synced with GIS for real-time display of location, condition, measurements, and more in GIS.

Want to learn more about Blue Raster’s drone and Public Gardens capabilities and experience? We've supported over a dozen Public Gardens since 2010. Check out our website and reach out!

Contact us today!

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