#TECH: Smart Mapping and Geographic Information System to Assist Authorities with Covid-19 Monitoring

KUALA LUMPUR: Geographic Information System (GIS) technology company Esri Malaysia has launched a Covid-19 GIS Hub website to collate official information from government authorities, aimed at benefiting related agencies and the public.

The Esri Covid-19 GIS hub monitors the virus outbreak both globally and locally in real time.

“Responding to the urgency of this situation where thousands have died and the world economy has come to a halt, Esri Malaysia believes that we can contribute through data and information. These are vital to the health industry and the various agencies within the administration of,” said Esri Malaysia’s CEO, C.S. Tan.

“Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, supply chains have been disrupted, and cities and countries have been on lockdowns. It is at these times that smart mapping helps especially for the first responders and decision-makers. The availability of data and information to all parties is crucial in battling a pandemic,” he said.

Further, Tan said, this one-stop hub works to collate all official and correct information thus putting a stop to the spread of fake news.

“Esri Malaysia has a team of dedicated geospatial experts on standby around the clock to update the website. Communities themselves can be proactive in tracking the spread of the virus and keep tabs on the number of affected people – all on real-time,” he said, emphasising how geospatial technology helps in times of crises and disasters by creating a more accurate 3D scenario for decision makers to review the scenario before planning the next steps.

Locally, Esri Malaysia uses the map to pin confirmed and active cases, deaths and recoveries to identify where Covid-19 infections have been recorded.

“We also map how infections spread over time and where authorities may want to target interventions through time-enabled maps. Our hub can also map vulnerable populations. Since the virus impacts the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, mapping demographics through age, social vulnerability and other facts can help too.

“This smart mapping efforts will provide a clearer picture of our situation and with the information available, the local authorities can better monitor its spread with more efficiency and in various aspects including the movement of a community or even coordinating a safety/health team,” added Tan.

Esri’s ArcGIS System – a system for working with maps and geographic information – also maps facilities so people can identify where medical resources, equipment, goods and services are located so as to better and more effectively respond to current or potential impacts of an outbreak.

ArcGIS is reported to be one of the main platforms supporting worldwide organisations fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. Bearing the tagline “Understand, prepare for, and respond to Covid-19 in your community or organisation”, the hub serves the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States and other similar authorities which monitor the spread of the virus and play a role in the preventive, surveillance and critical control measures.

Tan said the hub is Esri’s way to show its commitment towards working for a brighter situation in these dark times.

Go to: https://coronavirus-nsesrimy.hub.arcgis.com/

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/bots/2020/04/582141/tech-smart-mapping-and-geographic-information-system-assist

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