California Climate Benefits

Climate Benefits webiste
Climate Benefits home page showing map view
Client:   TransForm

California is leading the way in the fight against climate change. Through the California Climate Investments Program, California is committed to investing in a wide range of projects to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Transform asked GreenInfo to build an application to put these projects on a map, enabling people to explore project benefits in their communities and legislative districts. We updated the application in March 2016, adding reports and other elements.

The California Climate Benefits website we built with TransForm is the first web application to map and summarize the impact of the California Climate Investments Program across the state of California. Website visitors can browse a map and table of climate investment projects, and also search by project name, program type, geographic location and other attributes. (In late 2015, the Executive Director of TransForm had the chance to give California Governor Jerry Brown a person tour of the site, just before the Governor headed to the Paris Climate Summit - read about it.

In March 2016, TransformCA debuted an updated version of the Climate Benefits web site - read their press release, and see their video of grant success stories.

The website provides a quick, graphical summary of the number of projects and projected greenhouse gas offsets across all projects, and within search results. Tables are organized by funding area, and show only those project attributes that are relevant to that funding area and program. 

In addition to searching projects, website users can also generate custom project reports based on their search terms, or search location, such as a county or legislative district. The printable PDF reports summarize project attributes per program area, and also provide a map of the selected projects. 

We also built a back-end administration panel so that Transform staff could enter project data. Importantly, this required a system for georeferencing projects and generating a project boundary, based on the cities and counties that receive project benefits.

The application is built with the robust open-source mapping stack consisting of Apache, PHP, PostgreSQL/PostGIS, with HTML/CSS/JavaScript and jQuery on the front end, and Bootstrap for a responsive experience on most devices. A simple but reliable caching system provides fast results for repeat search requests.  When saving a project through the admin UI, we also generate a list of project search 'tags' where the project has an impact. This makes geographic searches very quick, as we have already stored the intersection of project boundaries with geographic locations.

Results: For the first time, policy makers, legislators, activists and the general public now have an application to display, query and summarize climate benefits resulting from the California Climate Investments Program.

Focus:   Environment, Public Health, Social Justice/Equity  

Services:  Interactive Solutions, Applications Development, Web Mapping, Website Design 

Tags:   California, Public Health, climate change, environment  

“ The GreenInfo Network team was extremely helpful in anticipating thorny data choices and guiding us through them, then swiftly building an elegant website that has been well received by our partners and target audiences. Their commitment to the goals of the project, and their expertise along the road from vision to launch, resulted in a beautiful product that quickly made an impact.”

—  Shannon Tracey, Communications Director, TransformCA

Project Years: 2015-2016

GreenInfo Network creates, analyzes, visualizes and communicates information in the public interest. We specialize in mapping and related technology for nonprofits and public agencies, focusing on using it for conservation, social equity, public health, environment and foundation grant making.
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