Large scale incidents occur all over the world. The Coronavirus aka COVID-19 is no different than other large scale incidents except that this incident is on a global scale. An incident of this scale has never been experienced by today’s first responders and health care workers. Due to the fact that public safety agencies and health care facilities have been overwhelmed, resources have been utilized to supplement these agencies such as mobile testing sites, mobile field hospitals, United States Naval ship hospitals have all been deployed.
When large scale incidents occur, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an excellent tool to assist in managing, tracking, and analyzing the incident. Many agencies and organizations have been producing GIS applications for this incident. One of the first GIS applications was from John Hopkins University mapping the spread of the virus by country using the ESRI Ops Dashboard.
The ESRI Ops Dashboard is an excellent tool for this type of incident because a user can visually see the cases, deaths and recovered patients on a map. But along with seeing the data visually, the application has the ability to display charts, graphs and lists allowing the end-user to easily read the data counts. As the virus has continued to spread, State governments and local governments have created their own versions of the Ops Dashboard to continually track the virus spread at a local level.
Chris and Steve have discussed on the last few podcast episodes these available applications. Public safety agencies that do not have GIS resources available to them, there are plenty of GIS applications and resources that can be utilized.
- National Alliance from Public Safety GIS
- ESRI Public Safety
- John Hopkins – University of Medicine
- World Health Organization
- GIS Corps
The above resources are just a few of the many resources available. Municipalities that are looking for local data should search their state, county or municipality websites as many government agencies are providing GIS applications at a local level as well.
If anyone needs assistance in locating GIS applications, please feel free to contact us as we are always willing to assist our public safety brothers and sisters. Stay Safe during this crisis.