July 21, 2015

3 Planning Habits Worth Trying

As a small growing team, we are very fortunate to have a full roster of environmentally focused dev. and mapping projects for the year. When deadlines are tight it’s easy to let best practices fall by the wayside or go out the window all together.

June 18, 2015

Automating Compliance Sweeps

Recently the Commons team has been tasked with designing software to bring efficiency to data management workflows for environmental non profits. Our latest round of completed work on AshTracker, has enabled our team to design, iterate, and optimize the existing platform for use in heavy metal exceedance tracking.

May 14, 2015

Place-based Grantmaking in the Shenandoah Valley

Identified as a priority region by many foundations working to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, the Shenandoah Valley has been an excellent model for strategic “place based” grantmaking. By collaborating with the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network (CBFN), our team built a data visualization that helps members of the funding collaborative view their grants in the context of one another.

April 07, 2015

AshTracker Updates

Working with Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), our team opened data consisting of 89,250 groundwater monitoring readings for 53 facilities across the nation. Of these measurements 10,090 (11%) exceeded federal safe drinking water standards, and 1,274 (78%) of facility monitored groundwater wells exceeded federal safe drinking water standards.

March 18, 2015

Water Reporter Android

Merging open source technology with volunteer monitoring programs is allowing critical connections to be made between the local government, volunteers, and non profit environmental organizations.

February 17, 2015

Stream Mapper

Working with Howard County's Office of Sustainability, our team successfully completed Stream Mapper, an open source mobile app allowing citizens to quickly survey and share stream conditions with their local government.

December 11, 2014

Mapping Water Quality and Pollution with Blue Water Baltimore

Earlier this week Chesapeake Commons and Viable Industries completed work on Harbor Alert, a new web application that helps residents in Baltimore city better understand how their local water quality stacks up against State and Federal standards for ecological and human health.

December 09, 2014

Mapping Field-level Soil Phosphorus on the Eastern Shore

Working with Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) and Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), our team completed the mapping of soil phosphorus test results for over 1,000 fields belonging to 60 confined animal feeding operations on Maryland’s eastern shore.

November 14, 2014

Conservation Project Tracker

The Lower Susquehanna region of Pennsylvania is a “hotspot” for water quality issues. Over 40% of local streams are impaired by sediment and nutrient pollution from agricultural and stormwater runoff. Further, the area contributes Pennsylvania’s largest nutrient loads to the Chesapeake Bay.

November 13, 2014

Reversing GIS Entropy

Our team is always looking for new ways of tackling geo-analytical problems and finding new perspectives on open environmental application development. Usually our days are working on a never ending list of project deadlines but when I saw Vladamir Agafonkin’s presentation title at this year’s FOSS4G conference, I put everything on hold to watch.

August 27, 2014

A Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater

Protecting your local streams can start right on your own property. Working with the The Little Conestoga Partnership, Viable Industries, and The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center, our team is announcing the release of Version 1.0 of StormwaterGuide.org, a new application that helps individuals create personalized stormwater management plans to reduce runoff to local tribs.

July 11, 2014

Water Reporter V.2.0 Now Available

Today Chesapeake Commons and Viable Industries completed and released V.2.0 of Water Reporter with some game changing functionality. The Water Reporter platform consists of a mobile application for Iphone (Android is on its way), a real-time data feed, and a streamlined geo-notification system.

June 01, 2014

Launching Ashtracker

Working in close partnership with Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and Viable Industries, we are announcing the official launch of AshTracker.org. The partnership developed Ash Tracker to help citizens access detailed information about groundwater contamination near areas used to dispose of ash, scrubber sludge or other wastes from coal burning power plants.

May 14, 2014

Hello Commons Cloud

Viable Industries and the Chesapeake Commons have just released version two of the Commons Cloud API. We’re excited about this work because it will offer all of our stakeholders the ability to easily manage their data in open formats so that it can be used to power custom web content, mobile applications, and real time visualizations.

April 24, 2014

Small Apps Big Outcomes

Last year the Chesapeake Commons/Viable Industries Partnership and Potomac Riverkeeper (PRK) released Version 1.0 of Water Reporter. This native application for iPhones helps PRK crowd-source citizen documented pollution events and activity reports throughout the Potomac Watershed.

March 14, 2014

Remote Sensing...We know you've thought about it

Our team has been working hard to nail down simple workflows around processing Landsat 8 imagery and we thought it would be fun to highlight two maps that leverage remote sensing techniques. These raster surfaces can be easily generated in house by small watershed organizations and are used regularly in environmental monitoring efforts.

February 07, 2014

Open Funding Data on 1,000+ Environmental Projects

Working in partnership Viable Industries LLC., Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds (FPW), and Chesapeake Commons successfully launched FPWGrants.org. The new site allows FPW staff and the general public to visualize, query, and roll up invaluable statistics on 1,021 environmental restoration projects throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

February 04, 2014

Why You Should Love CartoCSS

My addiction to Geographic Information Systems began with cartography. The practice of good cartography speaks to me because it combines both art and science to relay a map's meaning and purpose to the audience.

February 01, 2014

Exploring human-friendly data presentation

One of the things we enjoy most is translating complex data collections into visual information that can be easily understood. Clean, intuitive maps and diagrams reveal patterns and lead to smarter problem-solving, all while providing a pleasurable user experience.

November 20, 2013

An Outcome-Driven Application

Last night Potomac Riverkeeper and Chesapeake Commons won the Technology Impact Award presented by 501cTech and Accenture.This award honors non profit organizations who are most effective in leveraging technology to further their mission...

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