As all the communities are about to reopen after COVID-19 crisis closures. Safe reopening strategies could be taken to monitor and safeguard public health.

Following are the five recommended spatial approaches to reopening:

Maps provide an at a glance understanding of many keys. They empower us to see if cases are spreading and spiking, and when to determine whether the outbreak is controlled. As we’ve witnessed around the world, large regions appear to be doing well while individual communities may be suffering from continuing spread. Maps help identify local hotspots to provide focused services for people in need and to contain outbreaks. As the crisis evolves, we gain a more granular view of the spread of cases, such as the State of Maryland’s view of cases by ZIP Code.

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Map for Community Resilience

Many anticipate changes in the ways we live our public lives, both short and long term. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the critical impacts of human interactions. Consequently, information about where people are and how they are interacting is essential to the ongoing safety and security of our communities.

To maintain community resilience, leaders can use the geospatial toolset to monitor how people interact and move, then make data-driven decisions to support population needs and safety for each location. By monitoring demand for government services by location, leaders can prioritize areas where more support may be needed. This is especially true for monitoring health system capacity which should be regularly assessed as people return to the workplace and venture into their communities.

Map for Organizational Resilience on COVID-19 crisis

Many businesses are using online maps to assess and display staff safety and wellness for employees deemed essential, and those working from home or in the field. Map-based awareness allows businesses to visualize personnel resources and to relocate staff based on current needs and conditions. A real-time map of indoor spaces allows a business to monitor sanitization operations and react to any safety concerns.

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Map the Impacts

Map-based applications and dashboards help leaders quickly assess the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. With unemployment spiking, a popular map displays the economic vulnerability of locations across the US. Leaders from business and government are working to understand the impact on revenues and budgets in order to respond and plan.
As businesses and governments work toward economic reactivation, it will be important to monitor both economic and health indicators.

Communicate with Maps on COVID-19 Crisis

While national policy certainly plays a role in how locations recover from the COVID-19 crisis, most actions take place at the local level. It is here that policies and resulting behaviors have the most impact. Local governments have created multiple map-based apps to address different facets of this crisis.

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As jurisdictions work to meet health benchmarks and prepare to reopen, the map-based view will continue to help. Organizations at all scales will use GIS to map, measure, model, and monitor reopening during the COVID-19 crisis. A focused awareness of the power of geographic thinking will be essential to keeping communities safe and healthy.

Author: Yuri Vanetik

Twitter: Yuri Vanetik