Tag: ArcGIS Pro

A Summer at Blue Raster: Internship Edition

As a summer intern at Blue Raster, I was given the opportunity to contribute to a multitude of projects. I was able to explore customizations of basemaps and manipulation of satellite data, work hands-on with 3D buildings in ArcGIS Pro, and contribute to a variety of other GIS work.

One such project, in conjunction with MIT Media Lab’s Space Enabled Research Group, aimed to track the growth and spread of aquatic surface vegetation. Focused on the Lake Nokoue region of Benin in West Africa, the goal of the collaborative project was to create a method of identifying the growth of water hyacinth in the lake and its tributary rivers for remediation purposes.

Intern work on GEE Lake Nokoue

I, along with several interns at Space Enabled, used Google Earth Engine (GEE), which provides immense processing power using Google’s server infrastructure, to access and manipulate several satellite data sources such as Landsat8 and Sentinel2. With additional support from the Blue Raster team, we were able to create a script for GEE’s Python API that scanned for changes in reflectance in Landsat8 and Sentinel2 and helps to track growth trends of the water hyacinth for future ground truthing trips by the MIT Media Lab Space Enabled team. We are exploring the use of Esri ArcGIS ImageServer for analysis for future work in this space.

Intern work on GEE classification

Throughout the summer, I also had the opportunity to work extensively with 3D data in ArcGIS Pro. In our work supporting a global Commercial Real Estate firm, we innovated with 3D to deliver a new suite of tools. Using a special data package created by Esri for City/Local Government GIS, I was able to create stacking plans of building floors to be implemented as a 3D layer along with full 3D models of the corresponding buildings in an ArcGIS Online Webscene.

Intern work on Floor stackingIntern work on 3D Buildings

During the summer, I learned a tremendous amount about ArcGIS Pro and 3D data. The opportunity to learn the functionalities and intricacies of ArcGIS Pro, particularly in a real-world setting, is not something offered through my university coursework. Working interactively with Blue Raster to troubleshoot and solve 3D issues in a quick paced environment provided valuable insight.

Overall, my time as an Intern at Blue Raster and the lessons I have taken away have helped to further my understanding of what a possible career in GIS has to offer. I feel that the projects I was able to contribute to will have a genuine impact. Having the opportunity to assist in their creation was an experience that will last a lifetime. I am excited to continue supporting Blue Raster as I return to Penn State.

ArcGIS Pro & ArcMap Training in Austin, TX

Last week, we traveled to Austin, TX to give a hands-on GIS training for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The idea behind the training was to deepen the staff’s proficiency using ArcGIS Pro/Desktop and ArcGIS Online.

Here’s an inside look at the three-day training at AIR’s Austin office.

Day one, we focused entirely on:

  • Building up the TEA team’s skills with ArcGIS Desktop, and Addressing some of their current needs at the agency.
  • Day one started well with an assessment that asked each team member to demonstrate their current proficiency with ArcGIS Desktop.
    This ensured each person had all of the basics down before we moved onto advanced analytics.
  • We spent the remainder of the day diving into toolboxes including editing, data management, and spatial analytics.

Day two welcomed AIR staff to the training. We split into advanced and intermediate groups and marched through a cycle of modules on increasingly sophisticated GIS operations. Everyone used common data sets from TEA’s current work in Texas and had an a-la-carte data menu to choose from as they went deeper. Each individual was asked to explore one of four questions:

  1. What is the impact of teacher tenure on student and school performance?
  2. Does a representative race/ethnic teaching population relate to student performance?
  3. What is the nature of the relationship between educator prep programs and the schools/districts they serve?
  4. Which rural districts are well-positioned to launch a grow-your-own teacher program?

We closed the day by migrating everyone’s maps out of ArcGIS Pro and into ArcGIS Online.

AIR advanced group at the training

The advanced group digging into modules on grouping analysis, point density, similarity, regressions and more.

The last day kicked off with presentations on building web apps and story maps. Each person then spent the afternoon creating an app that told the story of insights they discovered from their previous day of mapping. We wrapped up the training with a gallery walk of the team’s amazing creations with colleagues from TEA and AIR.


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