Software Development

City of Santa Maria, CA


The City of San Maria’s Department of Utilities Water Resources Operation and Maintenance Section was interested in improving their field crews efficiency by making information on disabling/enabling customers water service connections available online. 

Information on the status of the City’s water service connections were being maintained in a legacy system by the City’s Department of Administrative Services.  The City had the capability of querying this system every thirty minutes, extracting address information for needed turn offs/ons, and sending this information to a Microsoft SQL table. 

Per the City's requirements, VESTRA developed an application that geocodes the addresses within this Microsoft SQL table and presents the results in an ArcGIS Online feature service making it available online and via mobile devices. This has enabled field crews the ability to access and edit the information from their smart phones utilizing Esri’s Collector for ArcGIS application.

Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association


Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association (LVMA) contracted with VESTRA to provide services in creating climate maps from the Prism Climate Groups data to assist LVMA with their effort to assess vineyard suitability within the Livermore Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA). The project consisted of migrating 30 years’ worth of climate data from the Prism Climate Group’s website into ArcGIS Online as feature services. Using these services, VESTRA built maps in ArcGIS Online using Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS  to asses such things as annual average precipitation, average mean temperature per month, minimum/maximum temperature per month, and average growing degree days.

M.J. Bradley & Associates (MJB&A)


M.J. Bradley & Associates (MJB&A), an environmental consulting firm based in Washington DC, contracted with VESTRA for help in developing a web application that would show pollution sources and data in the Washington DC area for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).    The web application developed by VESTRA overlays a set of power plants and allows users to identify air quality grades and natural lands by visualizing multiple maps and layers within the single web application. 

Formation Environmental / Imperial Irrigation District


Salton Sea air quality program support

Challenge: The Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation (SS AQM) Program was developed by the Imperial Irrigation District to provide a comprehensive, science-based, and adaptive approach to address air quality mitigation requirements associated with the transfer of conserved water under the Quantification Settlement Agreement. The transfer reduces the volume of agricultural return flow to the Salton Sea, thereby exposing the playa and increasing the potential for dust emissions that could affect nearby communities.

Solution:  VESTRA worked with Formation Environmental to develop an end-user web application that allows users to download GIS layers for comparison and visualization, which includes: Emissions Inventory and Monitoring Program, Dust Control Strategy and Planning, as well as Dust Control Implementation.

The Emissions Inventory and Monitoring Program will identify the playa surface characteristics and surface mineralogy dynamics that create salt crust conditions vulnerable to erosion. It will also measure the emissions potential of playa surfaces and identify dust source areas. These activities will provide a better understanding of salt crust formation and erosion at the Salton Sea, and ultimately inform dust control planning and implementation. The SS AQM Program will also assess dust emissions from adjacent desert areas to better understand the location and timing of off-sea emissions. Visualizations include: Playa Exposure, Playa Surface Characteristics, Playa Emissions Potential, and the Off-Sea Emissions Inventory.

The proactive dust control strategy is designed to prevent exposed playa from becoming a significant source of PM10 emissions, which will help protect the public health of the communities near and around the Salton Sea. A large part of this strategy is to identify and implement dust control measures (DCMs) on emissive playa surfaces before they reach thresholds that prompt regulatory orders for control studies.

Long-term dust control at the Salton Sea is anticipated to include a mosaic of dust control measures to effectively control dust, minimize water use and maximize habitat. Small-scale dust control pilot studies provide important data regarding the suitability of various measures for the playa. Field scale pilot studies provide experience scaling, adapting, and combining dust control measures at a larger scale. A series of field scale pilot studies will be implemented in early 2017 (see below). Planning is underway for several additional field scale pilot studies in 2017-2018.

Benefit: By having all of the data available within an interactive web application, the Imperial Irrigation District is able to visualize the effects of the playa over time and how this is affecting the air quality surrounding the Salton Sea.  The web application gives the ability for users to see the affects over time utilizing a time slider and create a scientific prediction for what could happen in the future.




VESTRA developed the Rural Opportunity Index (ROI) Data Analysis Viewer for the UC Davis CRC.  The purpose of this application was to aid in targeting resources and policies toward people with the greatest need in a community, and also help create communities of opportunity for all Californians.  This web application was based on Esri’s ArcGIS API for JavaScript and has similar functional requirements to the PYOM viewer.

View application here:

University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine (Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, Tulare)

iOS/Android Application Development for Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) Identification

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, working with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension and UC Davis Animal Science department (collectively referred to as “UC Davis”), has developed a disease scoring system and risk assessment for identifying Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) in dairy calves. UC Davis contracted with VESTRA to make this system available to Dairy producers as native iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) and Android applications.

These native applications provide a simple bilingual decision support tool that calculates the BRD score based on input from the producer with the capability to:

  • Store a history of BRD scores within the applications, allowing the producer to review the history, generate a histogram and email the data in a .csv format that could be used in other farm-level data management tools.
  • Generate a BRD Prevalence Estimate.   The Prevalence Estimate and 95% confidence limits is stored within the application and included in the history summaries, histogram and email.

iOS Application:

Android Application:

State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)

Cannabis Identification and Prioritization System (CIPS)

PROBLEM: The cultivation of Cannabis in rural parts of California has been increasing which has resulted in significant environmental impacts in the watersheds of California; such as, increased pollution in the local, regional, and state water supplies, increased soil erosion, as well as increased nutrient and pesticide laden runoff. California’s extreme drought conditions have further magnified these impacts.

SOLUTION: The SWRCB and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were tasked with trying to regulate this activity. As a part of this effort, they contracted with VESTRA to design a Cannabis Identification and Prioritization System (CIPS), which acts both as a repository of geospatial information on grow locations and a tool for helping the agencies prioritize their regulatory efforts based on the potential impact individual grows have on water resources, fish, and wildlife.

VESTRA, along with Formation Environmental, worked to capture grow locations and developed raster datasets which include percent slope, length of slope, evapotranspiration and proximity to surface water.  These raster datasets are used along with information on the proximity of threatened fish and wildlife to model the level of threat associated with each grow, allowing the agencies to establish priorities for action.

CIPS APPLICATION: VESTRA was responsible for the design and development of the system.  One of the project requirements was that the system leverages the SWRCB’s existing Esri Enterprise system.  The development effort includes a JavaScript web interface to be used by agency staff tasked with regulating Cannabis cultivation and geoprocessing services that are used to model the environmental threat based on the factors a user wants to consider in their analysis along with the weight they associate with each factor. 

The web interface includes an operations dashboard that summarizes the number of grows that have been identified in the state, whether they’re outdoor or greenhouse grows, the number in each SWRCB region, and the estimated amount of water consumed by each grow.  This dashboard is updated nightly as data becomes available.



City of Emeryville, CA

In 2010, VESTRA initiated work with the City of Emeryville to configure and implement an Enterprise GIS. The project began with a high-level needs assessment to identify current and potential uses of GIS technology within the City. Based on the results of this assessment, VESTRA developed the system architecture for their Enterprise GIS platform. VESTRA supported the City with implementing this architecture by installing and configuring Esri's ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server software, creating a master geodatabase, and providing training to staff on the use and management of the platform. Following the implementation, VESTRA has supported the City by providing technical support, geodatabase conversion and editing, and custom GIS application development.

Beef Tracker

VESTRA was contracted by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) to develop the BeefTracker utilizing Esri’s ArcGIS Online web mapping platform as the core foundation for development. The objective of the BeefTracker was to design, develop, and implement a location-based solution for ranchers to document sustainable land practices and to demonstrate that beef production fits within a sustainable ecosystem. The BeefTracker utilizes the latest web-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, and was designed to provide a robust, but easy to use interface for data collection, editing, and reporting.

The initial design and testing of the BeefTracker was based upon input from NCBA’s project team and a select group of volunteer rangeland researchers and ranchers in various parts of the U.S. The input from the project team and volunteers provided great insight into current livestock operation activities, and how the information entered into the application could be used to demonstrate, and to improve operations over time. Keeping this initial design group small allowed VESTRA’s development team to focus on building core functionality that demonstrated how ranchers could utilize and benefit from GIS technology.

California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development

VESTRA has been supporting the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) as they work to develop a statewide enterprise GIS for quality policy analysis, allocation of funding resources, and to aid in the monitoring of healthcare quality throughout the state. The Healthcare Atlas also includes emergency departments and ambulatory services. Work was performed to re-engineer the mapping applications in order to interface with a new data warehouse that dramatically expand the GIS user interface using ASP.NET. The internal OSHPD Website receives live earthquake data to assist OSHPD’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in providing support and regional coordination to hospitals affected by an earthquake. This EOC portion of the application received a “Best of California” award in 2008.

Click here to read Esri's article, "California Healthcare Atlas Offers Single Easy-to-Use Portal."


VESTRA supported the conversion of County roads datasets to Northrop Grumman CAD Dispatch system schema that is used by CalFire. The process included the creation of advanced and sophisticated ETL and geoprocessing tools for data conversion and manipulation of large roads datasets. The process included updating addressing and routing attributes of roads as well as the road geometry.

California Department of Water Resources

Utilizing the Department of Water Resources' (DWR) information technology architecture standards, VESTRA’s team developed a Model Conversion Plan that outlined a solution to resolve issues that DWR had with the application prior to any redesign. The plan described the steps required to convert the existing stand-alone GIS methodology to a multi-user GIS solution, improving business workflow processes, as well as scripting of geoprocessing tools, development of custom user interfaces, and deployment of an ArcSDE geodatabase and ArcGIS for Server in DWR's environment.

Following the model conversion plan VESTRA’s team redesigned DWR’s desktop GIS solution to be a multi-use enterprise GIS solution using the ArcGIS for Server and ArcGIS for Desktop 10.2 platform.  Following development of the new solution, VESTRA's team implemented, deployed, and trained DWR staff on the use of the multi-user solution.

VESTRA is currently supporting the Department of Water Resources (DWR) with the Geospatial Technical Support project. This multi-year contract involves assessing DWR’s current Enterprise GIS Architecture. Working with DWR’s Division of Technology Services, VESTRA is assisting in reviewing and modifying their standards-based, scalable geospatial infrastructure to provide for interoperable data sharing and enterprise-wide geospatial data processing. Also included in this project is the development of a library of commonly used web and desktop GIS functions for incorporation into future applications.

Fehr & Peers

VESTRA was contracted by Fehr & Peers, an innovative Transportation Planning consulting firm, to develop a web-based version of their MXD+ application. MXD+ is used to quantify Mixed-Use Development Trip Generation, and is based on Fehr & Peers’ unique approach to accurately identify key relationships between the mode of travel and the build environment.

Working in close collaboration with the Fehr & Peers project team, VESTRA designed the technical platform for MXD+ and developed the application. The deployed solution includes dynamic mapping capabilities using Esri’s Geographic Information Systems software, coupled with an intuitive, multi-step workflow that walks end-users through the MXD+ modeling process.

University of California, Davis

VESTRA developed the Putting Youth on the Map (PYOM) Data Analysis Viewer for the UC Davis Center for Regional Change (CRC).  The CRC wanted to visualize and analyze a number of well-being and vulnerability indices affecting California’s youth.  VESTRA used Esri’s ArcGIS API for JavaScript to build a mapping application that displayed up to three maps side-by-side that can be used to compare various indices.  Each map can display a different trend or index which when compared to indices in the other maps, provides an understanding of trends and patterns that can affect change in policy and decision making.  The extent and position of the three maps can be synchronized to assist in comparing the indices on an area by area basis.  Social media integration was added by allowing users to share a printed map or a URL that would launch the app with a specific area of interest being displayed.  In addition to application development, VESTRA provided CRC staff with support for the configuration and publishing of PYOM map services using ArcGIS for Server.  The PYOM application required specific functionality only available in ArcGIS for Server 10.3. VESTRA assisted CRC in upgrading from ArcGIS for Server 10.2 to ArcGIS for Server 10.3.1.

Most recently, VESTRA worked with UC Davis to develop, test, and implement functionality to accommodate use of the PYOM by mobile and tablet devices. The goal of the project was to provide a well-functioning user interface for the PYOM that scales appropriately from desktops down to mobile and tablet devices. The development process included porting the PYOM application into the Twitter Bootstrap framework, and making revisions to the PYOM application that enabled responsive behavior, allowing similar functionality between desktop, mobile or tablet device browsers.

View application:

Shasta Regional Transportation Agency

VESTRA worked with SRTA on several high profile projects, such as the Shasta Forward Blueprint Planning Project which included land-use geodatabase design, GIS data development, current and proposed land use scenario modeling, the calculation of performance measures related to land use allocation, and the design of cartographic results showing projected development, extruded grids of development intensity and model animations. Addition projects are the re-alignment of Shasta County Parcels, and the Sustainable Community Strategy Grant projects that included a non-motorized network to model pedestrian, bike, trail, and bus access and movement in the urban region of Shasta County, the application of a Mobility Assessment Tool (MAT) on the non-motorized network to objectively identify high-priority locations for development on a network, a neighborhood scale dynamic (NeDS) study, and an ex-urban Growth Tool that models sustainable growth in a non-urban setting based on emergency response and the wild land urban interface.