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Esri UC 2019: Visit the Blue Raster Team

Esri UC photos
Esri UC Plenary speakers

Blue Raster is thrilled to announce our return to the Esri User Conference in July at the San Diego Convention Center. Members of our team will be making the trip out to sunny Southern California next month to present our work and to gain insights from other leaders in the geospatial industry. We look forward to hearing from keynote speakers Jane Goodall and E.O. Wilson, two of the world’s foremost conservation activists. We are excited to be collaborating with the Esri StoryMaps team and the Jane Goodall Institute on a Story Map that will be featured at Esri UC.

Exciting Technology at Esri UC

We are excited to announce that we are now a partner in the ArcGIS Indoors Specialty.

ArcGIS Indoors

Blue Raster is recognized for our expertise with indoor mapping and location analytics, and the implementation of solutions or services using ArcGIS Indoors. This rising IPS (Indoor Positioning System) based software will be at the center of several demos and training sessions at this year’s Esri UC.

Blue Raster Project Manager Megan Gottfried will be attending ArcGIS Urban pre-UC training on July 7th to learn more about this revolution in GIS for urban planning. We are looking forward to talking with colleagues and clients about these new initiatives. Make sure to visit our booth to see some of our application demos and videos.

We are also excited to announce that we are an official ArcGIS Marketplace Provider and have three new offerings in the ArcGIS Marketplace:

  • ArcGIS Online Accelerate
  • ArcGIS Hub Accelerate
  • Story Maps

Visit us at Esri UC to learn more about how Blue Raster can help you successfully set up, implement, and launch the latest Esri software tools.

Where to See Us at Esri UC

We look forward to engaging with other members of the GIS community, and we want to meet with you!  Stop by our booth in the Expo Hall near the Sustainable World Community or contact us at info@blueraster.com to set up a meeting.

Lightning Talk: My Life as a (Version) Control Freak: Versioning ArcGIS Online Items with Python

Monday, July 8th – 5:00 to 6:30pm PT in Ballroom 20-D

Blue Raster GIS Analyst Daniel Cassiday will share his experiences and thoughts on applications of Python in versioning ArcGIS Online items. This event is a single, five-minute presentation taking place as part of a larger series of lightning talks. Danny will be sticking around after the event to answer any individual questions.

Danny Esri UC

Visit us in the Map Gallery, where we will have three posters featured. Hang out with us during Map Gallery Opening and Evening Reception, Monday, July 8th – 4:00 to 7:00pm PT in the Sails Pavilion

Sustainable World Social

Tuesday, July 9th – 6:00 to 8:00pm PT                                                              Hilton San Diego Bayfront Sapphire Terrace

Blue Raster is a proud sponsor of this networking event, which focuses on the applications of GIS in the context of conservation and sustainability. There will be light refreshments and great opportunities to collaborate with other people and organizations that are looking to make a difference.

Esri UC SWS
Schedule a Meeting With Us

Interested in meeting with our team? Contact us now to schedule a time to meet with us during the Esri User Conference. We can't wait to see you!

GFW Pro: Managing Deforestation Risk in Commodity Supply Chains

Blue Raster is proud to announce the launch of Global Forest Watch Pro beta, a decision support tool that empowers companies to monitor their supply chains for deforestation and fires with a focus on preserving the most sensitive landscape types. Companies can upload all of their of sourcing areas, farms, and supply sheds for analysis and view interactive maps and diagnostics displaying occurrences of deforestation, alerts for forest fires, land cover types. Each organization is provided a secure location to manage user access to their areas of interest to ensure that the right people are able to interact with the right data at the right time.

GFW Pro quote

Analyzing Areas of Interest

The public launch builds on the features available during the preview period and dramatically increases the speed of analysis of the user's areas of interest (AOI). Upon upload, the AOIs enter the analysis workflow which leverages AWS Lambda to calculate area-of-intersection with a variety of land-use and land-cover datasets. These intersecting areas are analyzed for tree-cover-loss since 2000, providing a detailed and nuanced view of conditions on the ground. With the latest iteration, Blue Raster leveraged AWS Dynamo DB to improve processing speeds by 700%, allowing GFW Pro to analyze hundreds of thousands of locations per day.

Improved Features

The latest update also provides users with an improved ability to manage locations within their account including:
- Sharing functionality to manage access to AOIs within an organization and send data to users outside the organization in the case of supply chains that include several companies
- Allowing users to re-analyze their AOIs at a click of a button if underlying data re updated
- The ability to upload locations in more geographic projections

Detailed Views

GFW Pro provides an unprecedented ability to view detailed environmental diagnostics of any Area of Interest (AOI) in a supply chain. The Forest Change Diagnostic presents a detailed breakdown of all deforestation since the year 2000 by a variety of global and regional specific land-use and land-cover types, such as WDPA Protected Areas, Peat, and Primary Forest. All data are displayed in intuitive interactive charts and are available for download. As Palm Oil Production is a major driver of deforestation, the Commodity Risk Diagnostic allows users to compare deforestation and fires within mills' supply sheds and empowers them to move palm sourcing away from the riskiest mills.

 

On the GFW Pro map, users have the option to view their data in the form of immersive, full-screen maps which highlight the geographic extent of surrounding environmental conditions. Additionally, users can sort this data by toggling numerous interactive layers, which are conveniently organized by categories such as forest change, land cover, land use, conservation, and more. It is also possible to monitor the conditions of distinct governmental units (such as states and provinces) or unique user-defined areas (through the polygon-drawing tool).

GFW Pro map

GFW Summit & Beyond

We are extremely proud of our work with Global Forest Watch and we look forward to attending the GFW Summit in this week in Washington, DC. We hope that this program advances supply chain management in the context of a changing natural environment, and that our users are better able to comprehend the human footprint of production across the world’s forests. Please check back soon for ongoing improvements to this application, as well as the release of other new and innovative mapping solutions.

Forest Products Without Compromise

Forest Stewardship Council’s mission is to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests. Their vision is that we can meet our current needs for forest products without compromising the health of the world’s forests for future generations

Forest

The FSC Dashboards, created by the Forest Stewardship Council and Blue Raster, provide an interactive outlet to explore where FSC Certified Forests and Certificates currently are located. Sharing these ArcGIS Operations Dashboards give viewers a look into the breadth of FSC Impact and explore physical boundaries of managed forests on top of satellite imagery and can be analyzed against authoritative global forest extent and change data for verification and accountability purposes.

Forest Stewardship Council Dashboard

Before a forest owner or manager can certify their forest, they must meet the ten FSC principles for responsible forest management. These rules apply to all forest types and are in place to ensure environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable forest management. The FSC 10 principles are below.

The 10 rules for responsible forest management

PRINCIPLE 1:
The Organization shall comply with all applicable laws, regulations and nationally-ratified international treaties, conventions and agreements.

PRINCIPLE 2:
The Organization shall maintain or enhance the social and economic well-being of workers.

PRINCIPLE 3:
The Organization shall identify and uphold Indigenous Peoples’ legal and customary rights of ownership, use and management of land, territories and resources affected by management activities.

PRINCIPLE 4:
The Organization shall contribute to maintaining or enhancing the social and economic well-being of local communities.

PRINCIPLE 5:
The Organization shall efficiently manage the range of multiple products and services of the Management Unit to maintain or enhance long term economic viability and the range of environmental and social benefits.

PRINCIPLE 6:
The Organization shall maintain, conserve and/or restore ecosystem services and environmental values of the Management Unit, and shall avoid, repair or mitigate negative environmental impacts.

PRINCIPLE 7:
The Organization shall have a management plan consistent with its policies and objectives and proportionate to scale, intensity and risks of its management activities. The management plan shall be implemented and kept up to date based on monitoring information in order to promote adaptive management. The associated planning and procedural documentation shall be sufficient to guide staff, inform affected stakeholders and interested stakeholders and to justify management decisions.

PRINCIPLE 8:
The Organization shall demonstrate that, progress towards achieving the management objectives, the impacts of management activities and the condition of the Management Unit, are monitored and evaluated proportionate to the scale, intensity and risk of management activities, in order to implement adaptive management.

PRINCIPLE 9:
The Organization shall maintain and/or enhance the High Conservation Values in the Management Unit through applying the precautionary approach.

PRINCIPLE 10:
Management activities conducted by or for The Organization for the Management Unit shall be selected and implemented consistent with The Organization’s economic, environmental and social policies and objectives and in compliance with the Principles and Criteria collectively.

 

World Environment Day: Today and Everyday

World Environment Day is June 5th and this year’s theme is Beat Air Pollution. Air pollution comes from various sources, such as large-scale agriculture, burning of fossil fuels for household heating, emissions from cars and trucks, coal-burning power plants, etc. The United Nations is calling for people to join the Mask Challenge and pledge to take action in support of the environment. Participants of this challenge will be taking various measures to reduce pollution, such as using public transportation or riding a bike to work, composting organic food items and recycling non-organic trash.

At Blue Raster, we take pride in our projects that promote the conservation and well-being of our environment and planet. Many of our clients are working to solve some of today’s biggest conservation and environmental issues. Using the power of GIS, we can analyze, manage, and visualize data in order to target areas where conservation practices are needed to promote a healthier environment.

Blue Raster is proud to partner with:

Planting Healthy Air

We partnered with The Nature Conservancy on an investigation into the effects of planting trees in urban areas. To visualize the data, we helped create the “Planting Healthy Air” story map. It details the project’s motivation, visualizes its geographic data and geospatial analysis, and describes a simple plan for cities to reduce pollution and temperature by planting trees.

Pollution map

UNICEF

Blue Raster teamed up with UNICEF on multiple projects to analyze the hazards of air pollution around the world. With Blue Raster’s help, UNICEF identifies the children who are most vulnerable to the dangers of air pollution and promotes a greater understanding of this issue among governments, communities, and families. Additionally, ongoing geospatial analysis can help us pinpoint sources of pollution and create plans for reducing pollution in the future.

Air Pollution UNICEF

Critical Loads Mapper

The Critical Loads Mapper, built for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), helps better understand local and regional vulnerability to atmospheric pollution. This interactive web application analyzes atmospheric deposition from Nitrogen and Sulfur. Despite abundance in atmosphere and aquatic ecosystems, an excess of Nitrogen can cause significant environmental and health issues, leading to economic impacts across communities. With over 500 display options, the Critical Loads Mapper makes it easy for researchers, policy makers, and public officials to access this data and make informed decisions.

Critical Loads

To read more about our work on environment issues, visit this filtered list of projects and blog posts.

The Magic of Maps: Presenting Esri StoryMap Beta

Blue Raster recently had the opportunity to create and present a StoryMap using the new ArcGIS StoryMaps (currently in Beta) for Esri’s “The Magic of Maps: How to Engage and Inspire Your Community” event. At this event, we were able to introduce our own thoughts on the new platform, as well as give advice on how organizations are able to utilize these tools successfully. The StoryMap itself, titled Measuring Success, goes into detail on how some of Blue Raster’s nonprofit partners are tracking progress of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. It addresses five of the seventeen SDGs and encompasses the work of The Demographic and Health Surveys Program, UNICEF, and The Nature Conservancy.

 

The Magic of Maps

The Magic of Maps

The presentation focused heavily on how organizations can be successful in the creation and utilization of their StoryMaps, including knowing the target audience, recognizing the potential of a successful StoryMap, and creating a concise and engaging design. Additionally we were able to showcase the features included in the new beta version of ArcGIS StoryMaps. With the new, modern platform users are able to pick and choose distinct elements to piece together, rather than having to select a set template. Uniform text and font size options also help to eliminate the complexity of styles and reduce design workload. Dynamic media types such as maps, videos, and images can be seamlessly integrated into a number of StoryMap features to further engage the audience. Most importantly, the new builder has a simplistic user interface that allows anyone regardless of prior experience (or lack thereof) to produce a professional-caliber StoryMap.

Special thanks to the members of the Blue Raster team who collaborated to create and present this StoryMap: Project Manager Christina Phang, UI/UX Designer Rachel Stock, GIS Intern Kelly Motzko, and GIS Intern Joe Nadonley.

You can view the slides and listen to the presentation here.


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