Posted on June 27 2021

Mapping Covid-19 patterns with Geospatial Analysis

Mapping Covid-19 patterns with Geospatial Analysis

The infectious Corona virus disease outbreak has become global threat requiring a collective response. The outbreak of Corona virus disease has caused a largely disruptive impact on the general society, ecology, culture and other areas. As the spread of virus is likely to continue disrupting because of high transportation connectivity, globalization and economic interconnectedness, it has been really difficult to contain and mitigate the importation risks once the disease starts to spread in multiple locations. It has become essential and emergency to study and predict the spatial and temporal trends of the outbreak.

Various Geospatial mapping techniques have been employed to track, monitor and understand the spatial and temporal distribution of infectious diseases and have become an emerging global health tool for mapping. GIS can play vital roles in tracking a pandemic, particularly in tasks such as spread of infection, prevention and control, allocation of resources. It can also help map the present and past occurrence of disease together with many other parameters representing the environment, geography and demography.

Integration of Covid19 studies with GIS mapping

Covid19 studies with GIS could be valuable tools in decision making and more importantly social mobilization and community responses. GIS technology is implemented widely and many web GIS-based dashboards have been developed for provision of information and covid19 data visualization. Data mining can be of use in acquiring of information and help in attempting to quantify the scale of an event before it has occurred to understand the pandemic’s behaviour in terms of outbreak tracking and disease treatment.

Ways GIS can help with Covid19 mapping

  • GIS provides a large number of methods on the dynamics of spatial transmission that enable effective feedback to public health officials, decision makers and affected communities.
  • It helps improve the location of health services and control, points of care and facilitate access which translates into and improvement in patient outcomes, time and material resources.
  • Map vulnerable and sensitive areas with increasing number of cases and understand human movement and formulate social measures.
  • Predict the spatial spread and temporal trends of the outbreak with the application of various analytical methods which is essential for health services.

Since the outbreak of the Corona virus disease in the year 2020, GIS can also be seen as a very useful application in post-coronavirus. Distribution of vaccines can be a potential challenge because of varying healthcare systems, infrastructure, wealth and other factors. GIS can help tackle problems in the distribution of vaccines by locating storage capabilities as per local distribution plans, mapping the trend and pattern of population vaccinated. Such an application is helpful in identifying which spaces are social priorities, conflict- sensitive place based information.

Applications and tools for mapping

There are various tools and methods that can be applied using GIS software to map the active, treated, under isolation, under quarantine, death cases, quarantine centre locations and trends at geographic level. The ArcGIS and QGIS integrated with Python and R can be applied to make time series maps. Geostatistical tools and Spatial Analyst tools can be used to analyse global transmission and prediction of Covid19. Big data and analytical approach that applies artificial intelligence is also a potential for mapping using real-time or near real-time patterns.

The web GIS-based mappings are one of the most famous applications produced by Johns Hopkins University which are considered as one of the most important sources of information about Covid19.