Created by WPSU’s Emmy-Award winning documentary team, “Mapping the Pandemic” reveals the unprecedented contribution of the geospatial community in combating the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.
Over a week before international agencies sounded the alarm, a global infectious disease surveillance system published news of a swiftly spreading outbreak of respiratory illness in central China. From that moment on, the geospatial community led international efforts to combat the disease, rapidly producing dashboards and interactive maps to track and predict its explosive spread. These efforts ultimately would reveal cover-ups and misinformation campaigns in countries that refused to share data, and pinpoint dispersal events in our own country leading to thousands of deaths. But the impact, and reach, of geospatial information was much, much broader than even these achievements indicate; everything from hospital inventories to housing statistics became part of an increasingly expanding geospatial infrastructure on which global communities were depending for their very lives.
What were the technologies that galvanized a coordinated global response? Who were the major players? And, with these new capabilities for public health surveillance, near real-time tracking and prediction, where are we heading? “Mapping the Pandemic” covers these issues, and more, featuring interviews with geospatial experts involved in the pandemic response, commentary from industry leaders, and conversations with health officials who seized the opportunity to leverage geospatial intelligence for the fight.
“Mapping the Pandemic” is the fifth episode in the Geospatial Revolution series. Announcing its release, producer/director Kristian Berg said he hopes it breathes new life into a series that has been embraced by the geospatial industry and academics alike.
The goal of the series is to “increase public understanding [of the ways geospatial information influences nearly everything]; strengthen interest in math, science and technology; and inspire the next generation.” Launched in 2010, the series now boasts over 1.5 million video views.
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