The most powerful map making tools in the business.
Blue Water GIS
Cartography. Data Visualization. Storytelling.
MWBE Certified - Woman Owned Business
WINNER - ESRI 2022 StoryMap of the Year
Tools of Our Trade
You want your story to shine. We illuminate your message with maps.
Story Maps, Interactive Maps, 3D Maps
Flourish, Tableau, ESRI Dashboards
We make complex data visible, accessible, and useable.
From concept to post-launch support.
Your idea has come to fruition, your project has seen success, and now it’s time to tell the story.
Together we determine a product layout that best conveys your message.
Maps, data visualizations, imagery, and narrative give power to your story.
Product launch includes social media outreach, and since your project is our portfolio, we stay invested.
We monitor website analytics to ensure long-term success.
We design products that amplify your endeavor.
Our tools captivate, motivate and inform.
Browse our highlighted projects or dive into our full portfolio below.
The Okavango Delta
Okavango - EarthViews 360° StoryMap
EarthViews 360° and The Wild Bird Trust, through National Geographic’s Okavango Wilderness Project, have been gathering 360° imagery to help scientists better understand these waters and educate the world about the wonders of the Okavango.
We are so lucky to have happened upon Katie and Mark’s work and their ability to take our functional solutions and ideas and blossom them into a multi-sensory trip through the rivers we map. I’m excited to continue our partnership with Blue Water GIS and let their amazing storytelling take us all on new journeys.
-Courtney Gallagher, CEO, EarthViews
Mid-Coast Water Resources
MID COAST WATER PARTNERS
From Cascade Head to Cape Perpetua, humans and ecosystems rely on plentiful, clean water, and even in this temperate rainforest, water is limited during the dry season. Here’s the story of how communities are preparing for this reality.
What Blue Water GIS did was nothing short of a miracle. Katie and Mark took 600 pages of dense technical information and, with very little assistance, interpreted it and turned it into a beautiful, approachable, and informative outreach tool.
- Harmony Burright, Planning Coordinator, Oregon Water Resources
Pro Bono StoryMaps
Tracker Certification N.A. & CyberTracker
Tracking is one of the most powerful ways to understand ecosystems and Tracker Certification N.A. is leading the renaissance in this ancient science. Read about the history of tracking, and the relationship between TCNA and CyberTracker.
“Our collaboration with Blue Water GIS was personable, fun, and easy. Mark and Katie not only create a visually stunning product, but they do something else brilliantly: no matter the complexity of an organization’s history or mission, they’re able to build an incredibly clear and engaging narrative to present to the world.”
-Casey McFarland, Executive Director, Tracker Certification North America
Climate Change Planning
Data Visualization, StoryMaps
WRIA 1 Nooksack River Watershed
Nooksack River communities are planning for the next 50 years as climate change and development alter the water environment. This StoryMap visualizes the anticipated changes to our ecological and human communities.
“The Water Supply StoryMap developed for the WRIA 1 Watershed Management Board does an incredible job of taking an enormous amount of data and putting it into a format that is understandable and visually exciting! We’re looking at a relatively dire future for water in the Greater Nooksack River Basin and this StoryMap does a great job of communicating the significance and urgency of issues facing our watershed.”
-Chris Elder, Watershed Planner - Whatcom County Public Works
Subterranean Bat Habitats
Comprehensive Data Management
BAT CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL
A data collection tool that allows BCI’s subterranean team to quickly, easily and accurately collect field data. Each data point integrates it into a comprehensive abandoned mine survey dashboard with the click of a button.
“Blue Water introduced us to new tools, techniques, and ways of collecting data that were previously unknown and now are helping us achieve our conservation mission better than ever before.“
-Jason Corbett, Director of Subterranean Program, BCI
Data Dashboards and Prioritization
Brightstorm - A TNC & OPTI Joint Venture
We are analyzing and creating visualization tools for large datasets to help prioritize potential water resilience projects and areas of opportunity for Brightstorm, a joint venture between Opti and The Nature Conservancy.
“Blue Water GIS has become an integral part of our team here at Brightstorm. Their thought leadership and technical expertise in visualization and analysis of large distributed spatial datasets is vital to our ability to deliver the water quality and quantity impacts that our clients are seeking.”
- Matt Rea, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Brightstorm
The Explorers Behind The Maps.
Blue Water GIS is a small, family-owned firm that was born out of a passion for understanding and conserving our natural world. The powerful geospatial programs and data visualization software available today allow us to interpret, map, and display the workings of our physical world like never before. And that’s what we’ve been doing since 2009.
We clarify data into compelling stories and beautiful maps.
We base out of Bellingham, WA, but being explorers at heart, we look for opportunities to meet new people, and discover new projects around the globe.
Data Nerd & Mapping Guru
Owner & Senior GIS Analyst
A love of people, places and data have drawn me down the path of the geographer. I’ve been using geospatial tools for over a decade to meld these interests together and help tell the stories of organizations that are doing good in the world.
Curiosity and the drive to explore have taken me across the globe, working in the estuaries of Alaska, the jungles of Hawai’i, and the seas of British Columbia. And while adventure fuels the soul, numbers and maps fuel my spirit. Few things make me happier than guiding good people through the creative process of telling the story of meaningful work.
- 15 years tinkering with ArcGIS products
- 10 years crunching data and making it shine
- 12 years experience in water rights analysis
- University of Hawai’i, MS – Conservation Biology
- Southern Oregon University, BS – Computer Science & Biology
- Sailing (I’ve been a captain for 10+ years & hold a USCG 100 Ton Master Captain’s License)
- Freediving and spearfishing in tropical waters
- Milking our small herd of dairy goats
Writer, Mapmaker, Naturalist
Operations Director & Project Manager
Since Blue Water’s inception, I’ve provided various talents as both copy editor and graphic designer. While my main focus is the written word, I also take lead on data visualization, cartographic design and photography.
Underlying all my crafts, both at work and at play, is a desire to explore and learn. If I’m tracking an animal, my map is the trail itself. If I’m in the mountains, a topo, and at sea, a nautical chart. Different journeys require different maps, but all good ones share the trait that they inspire you to explore further. This is our goal as well in all that we do.
- 3 years of bringing data to life with Story Maps and other digital media
- 12 years of natural resource project management
- 15 years of creative and technical writing
- 6 years of plant production and small scale agriculture
- University of Montana, BS – Liberal/Wilderness Studies
- Plant propagation
- Natural history and the deciphering of ecological patterns
- Tracking wild animals
Writer & Mapmaker
Three years of GIS, cartography and map making experience
Five years of community-based reporting and editing
Western Washington University – BA – Environmental Journalism, GIS Certificate
Trail running anywhere with a forest
Foil fencing in regional tournaments
Mapmaker & Data Viz Designer
Junior GIS Analyst
Amanda’s been designing maps, data visualizations and Story Maps with Blue Water since 2016, and she has become an integral part of our team on most every project we embark on. She’s a wizard when it comes to beautifying and displaying complex data, a testament to her expertise in both GIS and visual design.
- 7+ years of GIS data wrangling, product design, and mapmaking
- Data visualization, user design, and cartography
- University of Minnesota – Duluth, BS – Geology, GIS Certificate, Minor in Communications
- Exploring the wilderness while hiking, fishing and camping
- Landscape and macro photography
- Playing ultimate frisbee competitively around the U.S.
While we typically handle projects entirely in house, there are times when an outside partner brings a particular skill to the table that makes the end product even more exceptional. Over the past five years we have cultivated relationships with professionals that excel in coding, marketing, design and social media.
If our skills don’t quite cut it, we’re not too proud to call on a little help from our friends. Similarly, if your organization has overlapping or complimentary skills, we are happy to work alongside your team to make the best product possible.