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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #380570

Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Methods for Management of Native and Invasive Crop Insect Pests

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Applications of geographic information science and technology to monitor and manage the COVID-19 pandemic

item LANE, JANET - Washington State University
item MOODY, AMANDA - Central Washington University
item YAU, YUAN-YEU - Northeastern University
item Mankin, Richard

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/12/2021
Publication Date: 5/17/2022
Citation: Lane, J.M., Moody, A.B., Yau, Y.Y., Mankin, R.W. 2022. Applications of geographic information science and technology to monitor and manage the COVID-19 pandemic. In: Arora, S., Kumar, As, Ogita, S., Yau, Y.Y. (eds) Innovation in Environmental Biotechnology. Springer, Singapore. p. 487-528.

Interpretive Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an expanded need for monitoring and measuring control of disease outbreaks by governments and public health organizations. Consequently, there has been a development of applications utilizing computerized geographic information systems (GIS) to assist in disease monitoring. Researchers at Washington State University, Central Washington University, Northeastern State University, and the USDA-ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville Florida, cooperated in a review to identify and describe applications of most value for monitoring the broader combined effects of the pandemic on humans, the environment, animals, as well as insects. Potential improvements in the use of GIS coupled with mobile technology, drones, and robots that could assist in monitoring changes in human and animal behavior and improving the effectiveness of contact tracing are described, reviewed and discussed.

Technical Abstract: Computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been in use since the 1960s, but recently the rapid spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 disease, caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, has led to unprecedented interest in and reliance on geospatial data and visualizations to help monitor and control the resultant pandemic. Geospatial factors such as human proximity, movement, and interaction, play a central role in this pandemic and the widespread availability of geospatial data from remote sensing and Global Positioning System technologies are fostering GIS analyses and dashboards that communicate information about its spread. Advances in computing technology are now capable of supporting near-real-time visualization of COVID-19 cases where space-time analysis and GIS software limitations were formerly a bottleneck for epidemiological studies. This chapter describes the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic and defines GIS terms that should be considered when reviewing COVID-19 geospatial analysis as many maps have been created hastily. Examples are provided of near-real-time surveillance websites, and other spatial analyses that show the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on the environment, including effects on wildlife, air pollution, noise pollution, and water turbidity. Wastewater based epidemiology is discussed as traces of virus components in sewage can also be used to monitor COVID-19 cases. Finally, new and emerging technologies such as contact tracing applications using mobile technology, drones, and robots that reduce human exposure to the virus are discussed as applied to the pandemic. Recommendations are made for improving GIS applications for future pandemics.