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A Bi-Monthly Publication of the CGA at Harvard University May - June 2020

Building a Spatiotemporal Platform for Rapid Response to COVID-19 Building a Spatiotemporal Platform for Rapid Response to COVID-19 In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSF Spatiotemporal Innovation Center brought together taskforces of international researchers. The project integrates near real-time data collection, high performance computing resources, analytic tools and workflows, and spatiotemporal expert knowledge into one platform in support of rapid response to the challenges of COVID-19. It builds on research from interdisciplinary teams, enables rapid spatiotemporal analysis for pandemic mitigation, such as revealing disease transmission patterns, modeling social and economic impacts, identifying vulnerabilities, evaluating the effectiveness of policies, assessing health facility capacity, and predicting public sentiment from social media. The platform provides essential resources needed for COVID-19 research through a single gateway, allowing global researchers to jump-start their research, collaborate across disciplines, and in turn share their data, analytical workflows and research findings through the platform for others to replicate and expand on, thus quickly produce results for decision support and workforce development. Visit the Spatiotemporal Rapid Response Gateway. Read a recent news release containing direct links to data content.

Geospatial Data Science Tools now on Harvard's High Performance Computing Infrastructure In collaboration with OmniSci Technologies and the NSF Spatiotemporal Innovation Center, and in close coordination with Harvard Research Computing (FASRC), the CGA has deployed OmniSci Immerse and PostGIS on Harvard's large computation cluster Read more here, and watch a demo of the platform analyzing COVID-19 GeoTweets.

CGA Virtual Forum: Responding to The Covid-19 Pandemic with Geospatial Research and Applications This event held on Friday May 1st was attended by 595 participants, featuring talks on topics ranging from tracking the pandemic to mapping and planning for hospital surges. View a list of the talks and presentation slides. Request to view a video recording of the event using this form.

2020 Fisher Prize Winner This year's Fisher Prize Award for Excellence GIS has been awarded to Emilio Sempris, for the entry: World On Fire: Top 100 Jurisdictions with Wildfire. Judges comments include “A stunning 3D visualization making a statement in easy to understand manner.” “Great utilization of a global publicly available dataset, presented and rendered in a unique way.” View the award winning poster.

Recent Publications by the CGA and CGA Affiliates

Dealing with Geoprivacy and Confidential Geospatial Data by the CGA's Doug Richardson.

Air pollution linked with higher COVID-19 death rates by Francesca Dominici, et. al.

Taking the pulse of COVID-19: A spatiotemporal perspective. By C. Yang, Weihe Wendy Guan, Tao Hu, et. al.

Spatiotemporal Patterns of COVID-19 Impact on Human Activities and Environment in Mainland China Using Nighttime Light and Air Quality Data. By Qian Lu, Tao Hu, et. al.

Building an Open Resources Repository for Covid-19 Research. By Tao Hu, Weihe Wendy Guan, Ben Lewis, Devika Kakkar,et. al.


Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker Directed by Harvard's Raj Chetty the Opportunity Insights group has created this application that tracks the economic impacts of COVID-19 on people, businesses, and communities across the United States in real time. Data is visualized with maps and charts at various geographic levels. View the application, and read the Harvard Gazette article.

Coronavirus Visualization Team This Harvard led multi-University team of students has been recently formed with an aim of visualizing various aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the group's focus is on showing objective statistics from reliable sources on what has been and what will be most impacted, provide help to organizations fighting on the frontlines, and develop data-driven policy proposals. The Team is collaborating closely with researchers at the CGA and other groups. View their website.

Harvard Map Collection Data Update The Map Collection has licensed the 2015 census of Japan from EastView Geospatial. They have also have acquired 2017 city level statistics from the China Data Institute. This layer includes demographic, education, and business data for cities in China. Also available are historical zip code polygons, available monthly from October 2014 through 2019. All of these data sets are licensed for use by Harvard affiliates. For more information or to find out how to access to the data please contact the Map Collection.


W3C/OGC Joint Workshop Series on Maps for the Web The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the World Wide Web Consortium invite interested stakeholders to participate in this Workshop to be offered in September and October, 2020. Read more and participate.

Geospatial Sensing | Virtual 2020 This virtual event will take place from August 31 – September 2, 2020, hosted by The 52° North Open Innovation Network. The event will include tutorials/webinars, live discussions, presentations, lightning talks and more addressing aspects of geospatial sensing. Read more and submit an abstract.


Applying Data to the COVID-19 Pandemic with OmniSci The Data Analytics company OmniSci is utilizing their GPU-accelerated analytics platform for COVID-19 related purposes. Watch a video demonstrating these capabilities, and view the full webinar.

Mapping Hour - Instructional videos about ArcGIS Online for parents and teachers [Esri]

Planet Data Investigates Pollution i Beijing During COVID-19 [planet]

30 Percent Drop In Air Pollution Over Northeast U.S. [NASA]

Esri providing key technology in fight against coronavirus [KESQ]

Battling COVID-19 with Data, Location Intelligence, and Visualization [Esri]

OmniSci Records Best Quarter in Company History [GISCafe]

Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as countries fight to contain the pandemic [FinancialTimes]

The CGA Newsletter is published monthly. Editor of this issue: Jeff Blossom.

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This newsletter passes on news items and information about new web maps or uses of GIS that come to the CGA's attention from various sources. These are provided for informational purposes only. The CGA does not endorse these items and makes no representations about their accuracy, completeness or quality. © Present & Fellows Harvard University. All Rights Reserved.