Category Archives: COVID-19

Missing your Mapping Peeps?

Join the OpenStreetMap US Virtual Mappy Hour. Members of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) Community present short, informational talks related to OSM and other mapping related topics. Here are links to some the past and upcoming Mappy Hour topics.

Up-to-date Events Schedule: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Foundation/Local_Chapters/United_States/Virtual_Mappy_Hours (To attend in real-time you will need to register on the form)

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 8:30pm ET – Imports with Margaret Spyker

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 8:30pm ET – Topic to be determined

Friday, June 5, 2020 6:30 -8:30pm ET – NY Mapathon Part 1: Mapping houses in the town of Hempstead, NY

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 8:30pm ET – Brian DeRocher, Microcosm

Wednesday, June 25, 2020 – Topic to be determined

Past Events
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Mapathon w/ MaptimeBmore – (watch) Mapping POIs in response to COVID-19 (BNIA Part-1), Mapping POIs with COVID tagging (Part-2)

Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Steven Johnson, TeachOSM. (watch) Discussion around OpenStreetMap in education.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020, Erika Nunez, MapGive: U.S. Department of State’s public diplomacy initiative for open mapping

Thursday, April 9, 2020, Miles Campbell – (watch) OSM and Accessibility: In times of crisis, publicly available information for pedestrian access, especially for those with disabilities, can be invaluable

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 8pm ET, Virtual Validation Mappy Hour hosted by Missing Maps.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT Maggie Cawley & Jennings Anderson, OpenStreetMap US Community Survey Results

What does social distancing look like? – A View from Space

A couple weeks ago Bloomberg News posted an interesting article (click here to read the article) showing how the stay at home orders are effecting areas around the world using high resolution satellite imagery. Below is an example showing Venice, Italy on October 20, 2019 compared to March 18, 2020 after the residents were asked to stay at home. It is interesting to compare the water clarity and traffic.

Venice, Italy: Notice the change in water traffic and water clarity after the Italy began ordering residents to stay at home. Source: Bloomberg.com

The article highlights numerous sites around the globe including: Wuhan, China (before shutdown / after shutdown); Mecca in Saudia Arabia; Venice, Italy; Epcot Center in Florida, USA; Tianjin, China; and Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

Resource: What It Looks Like From Space When Everything Stops, Eric Roston, March 24, 2020, Bloomberg.com

Additional COVID-19 GIS Mapping Resources for Iowa

Here are several more maps that are helpful for understanding the COVID-19 spread in Iowa.

The State of Iowa has a COVID-19 page: https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/. There is a map of the the confirmed cases statewide. This page has demographic breakdown of the cases by male/female, age cohorts, as well as hospitalization and recovery information.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has a similar page: https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus. One thing I like about the IDPH page is that they have the number of negative COVID-19 tests as well as the positive cases.


An interesting infographic site that is put out by ESRI called Impact Planning for COVID-19: https://business.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/dc74772707d94db9a7d24d30ffdcf36c. This site pulls together demographic data, hospital data, insurance data to give a snap shot of each county around the country.

COVID-19 GIS Map Resources

The geospatial community has been doing a good job of mapping known COVID-19 cases. Having data in a map can often help us with decision making and help keep things in perspective.

ESRI has a COVID-19 GIS Hub which has a lot of great maps, data and applications.

Below are links to three maps that I have found useful:

– John Hopkins University has a map of global cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 including data about confirmed cases, deaths, recovered, and active cases: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

– University of Washington has a more detailed map showing the “infection cases” in the United States. This map has descriptive information about the cases which I have found helpful in understanding more about how the virus and transmission. https://hgis.uw.edu/virus/

– Another map that I have found helpful was produced by 1point3acres, it provides details about each individual case and includes case number, date confirmed, county, and other case notes. https://coronavirus.1point3acres.com/en

The Iowa Department of Public Health also produces a weekly Flu report (Iowa Influenza Surveillance Network) which gives very detailed information about the state of influenza-like illnesses across the state throughout the flu season. https://idph.iowa.gov/influenza/reports