Home Blogs Coronavirus: Geospatial industry pitches in to help combat pandemic

Coronavirus: Geospatial industry pitches in to help combat pandemic

This is a developing story and we will continue to update this blog with the latest available resources. 

Corporate Social Responsibility( CSR) is not only about financial endowments, grants or similar philanthropic endeavors. It also includes making data and information available to all and assisting first responders and decision-makers at the time of disasters or epidemics. For an industry that is focussed towards widespread deployment of technology and enhancing the value of data analytics, the geospatial industry has again shown its commitment to the larger public good.

Coronavirus or the Covid-19 is the biggest pandemic the world has witnessed since more than a century. It has killed thousands of people, disrupted supply chains, brought the global economy to a standstill, and caused lockdown of entire cities. All over the world, empty airports, shuttered offices, and ghost settlements have become a recurring feature due to this outbreak. It is estimated that the economic cost of the epidemic would be over $3 trillion.

While the world gears up to tackle this crisis of unforeseen magnitude and governments issue healthcare advisories and quarantine the infected, a lot of organizations are working on the ground to provide visualizations of the affected areas along with the real-time situational awareness.

Geospatial industry has come to rescue in a lot of crises and disasters by boosting relief and rehabilitation efforts. In the case of Coronavirus, the geospatial community is proactive in tracking the spread of the virus, constantly updating the number of people affected, and providing real-time information.

Let us look at some of the remarkable initiatives by geospatial companies in the fight against this 2020 pestilence.

Esri’s ArcGIS Hub

Esri, the world’s biggest location intelligence company, which is always at the forefront in disaster mapping and helping agencies with data gathering, has designed a special Covid-19 ArcGIS Hub to gather and share relevant information from all across the globe.

“Esri is very involved in attempting to help with the COVID-19 planning and response efforts. We are sharing many dashboards, apps, information and data”, says Este Gerghaty, ESRI’s Chief Medical Officer.

Other geospatial companies are also doing their level best to widely disseminate information.

Geospark’s Dashboard

Geospark Analytics, a geospatial data analytics company that uses AI for risk assessment and enabling decision-making, has launched an interactive Cornavirus dashboard that provides relevant information and visualizes the outbreak on a real-time basis.

“We have made a significant portion of our Health Event machine learning model available to the public through a new dashboard we created for the response efforts”, says John Goolgasian, COO, Geospark Analytics. The database can be accessed here.

Also Read: Here are some of the best maps tracking Coronavirus updates

Maxar’s Human Landscape Monitoring

Point of interest

Maxar, the NewSpace Company, has developed a multi-layered Human Landscape data that is essential for diseases modelling. The layers include medical facilities, demographics details, tourist attractions, cultural point of interest, roads, public transportation hubs, water infrastructure, recreational point of interest.

Maxar’s Human Landscape data sets utilize imagery to improve multiple data sources, creating a robust GIS database with rigorous quality assurance procedures, including extensive attribution tables and metadata. Human Landscape is a comprehensive geodatabases with rich attribution and metadata, detailing core human geography themes across country, in an analysis-ready format.

Maxar’s satellite imagery enables analysts to undertake complex geospatial tasks and accelerate mission operations.

CARTO Visualization software

CARTO will be making its platform available to public and private sector organizations fighting against the coronavirus outbreak via its grants program. The company intends to help healthcare organizations and governments to assess lockdown impact and make data driven decisions. Full information can be accessed here.

Aspectum Monitoring Tool

Aspectum is providing free access to its cloud-based GIS platform and analytical services to to all organizations, entities, and individuals working with health care projects.

Medical professionals, NGOs, government bodies, and mass media may apply this GIS map to observe the situation with coronavirus in different regions. With the help of the analytical services by Aspectum, organizations can analyze data about the infected areas and access a helicopter view to forecast and reduce the risks of spreading the virus to the neighboring territories. This solution also tracks air traffic in order to detect the spread of infection at both national and international level

Hexagon Dashboard and Smart App

In order to combat Coronavirus outbreak, Hexagon has developed a highly interactive dashboard and Smart M.APP that is helping global organizations to understand threats so that they can be combatted. It can be accessed here.

MapmyIndia Dashboard and App

MapmyIndia Maps and Move app enables users to view, locate & reach nearby Coronavirus testing labs, Isolation and treatment facilities – both government and non-government. Users can see and add their own photos & reviews about these places, in terms of amenities/hygiene etc., helping other users with critical & updated information on the condition of each facility.

Early detection and isolation of infected persons are two very critical measures that help contain any epidemic. MapmyIndia resources are designed to do both. The dashboard can be accessed here.

“MapmyIndia team is continuously updating new facilities and health centres capable of handling Corona cases, as they come up, across India. With an objective to serve the society and help keep everyone safe, we welcome comments, feedback, suggestions etc. from users. These will help us enhance the functionality of these resources, making them more relevant, efficient and effective,“ says Rohan Verma, CEO & Executive Director, MapmyIndia.

SafeGraph Public Dashboard

SafeGraph has created a public dashboard to help grasp the constantly changing nature of U.S. commercial activity during the COVID-19 crisis. The company’s hope is that having access to this foot traffic data, which covers key industries and major brands, can help prepare for and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on businesses.

Safegraph has always provided data for free to university and non-profit researchers. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has decided to extend this to local government agencies as well. The dashboard can be accessed here.

Esri Software for Free

To help public health agencies and other organizations jump-start their response to Coronavirus outbreak, Esri is providing the ArcGIS Hub Coronavirus Response template at no cost through a complimentary six-month ArcGIS Online subscription with ArcGIS Hub. The template includes examples, materials, and configurations to rapidly deploy your ArcGIS Hub environment. ArcGIS Hub is a framework to build your own website to visualize and analyze the crisis in the context of your organization’s or community’s population and assets.

“Esri has always prioritized assisting communities during large-scale emergencies and natural disasters,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “For the past 25 years, our Disaster Response Program provides data, software, configurable applications, and technical support for emergency operations. We consider it part of our mission to provide these services free of cost during this time of national crisis.”

Inpixon Location-Based Tech

Inpixon’s maps, positioning tags and sensors, and analytics can help address several critical healthcare use cases.

Inpixon, a leading indoor data company that specializes in delivering indoor intelligence, is offering certain of its location-based technology applications and services without cost or at reduced rates (depending on the solution) to healthcare providers and other organizations that are seeking solutions to assist in controlling the spread of COVID-19 or in managing the impact of the pandemic to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens.

The company’s indoor intelligence solutions can equip hospitals and other indoor spaces with a means to create situational awareness and visibility into the movement of people and equipment, identifying potential risk. The company’s technology, which consists of indoor maps, positioning tags and sensors, and analytics, can help address several critical use cases including the following:

  • Publish near real-time color-coded maps for patients and staff showing quarantine vs. general population zones, closed areas, etc.
  • Route patients along desired paths. Use intelligent indoor navigation to direct patients to particular entrances and along desired routes within the facility to help reduce exposure or congestion.
  • Locate and visualize assets and people. Track scarce resources such as ventilators, wheelchairs, gurneys, etc. Trigger alerts when an asset enters or exits a designated area. Find key staff and track patient movements.
  • Record and replay device movement for contact tracing through zones.
  • Visualize indoor data live on a facility map. Display IoT sensor data (room temperature, equipment health, etc.) on the map.
  • Analyze person and asset counts, dwell times and movements to assess the situation and identify trends. Utilize predictive analytics based on historical data.

“This pandemic has swept the globe, disrupting our lives in nearly every way. It is a tragedy of immense proportion, and with so many unknowns, we want to help provide indoor spaces with the tools and technology needed to enhance visibility, manage scarce resources, and reduce unnecessary exposure,” says Inpixon CEO, Nadir Ali

Blue Marble’s Data Sources

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Blue Marble Geographics® has assembled a library of verified GIS data sources for mapping the outbreak of the disease.

The library includes downloadable and streaming sources, which will be monitored and updated daily. Global Mapper® users will be able to access a few of the streaming sources within the software. Blue Marble will also be providing some custom templates to assemble and organize the data sources to provide aggregate data analysis.

TravelTime Platform Free Data

TravelTime Platform, a Location-based site search & analytics API, is providing free data and services to governments, charities, health services and NGOs. It is also covering the cost of mapping for other startups.Any government, charity, health service or NGO that is actively helping to solve the crisis can get unlimited free access to its data and help them plan their responses in various ways like arranging visits to vulnerable patients, mapping the right locations for testing centres, and communicating to the public which test centres are right for them.

“Our focus in on ‘what we can do for help’ There is no time limit on this, there is no contract, there is no assumption for future use. We want to repurpose our data and services to help”, says Charlie Davies, CEO and co-founder, TravelTime

Also Read: Autonomous Robots aid in patrolling and disinfecting COVID-19 hit China