Esri Indonesia’s Emergency Spatial Support Center (ESSC) has recently launched a COVID-19 Geoportal to help local authorities and communities take precautionary measures against the virus outbreak in the country.
According to Dr Achmad Istamar, CEO of Esri Indonesia, the COVID-19 Geoportal works as public health information tool that integrates information from the relevant government agencies and visualizes it on a dynamic mapping dashboard thereby giving users a compelling view of the outbreak as it unfolds.
The use of geospatial technology is indeed very suitable to be implemented in this kind of emergency situation. In line with what was stated by one of the speakers in the Esri Indonesia webinar “Introducing Onemap.id & Prevention Act in a State of COVID-19”, dr. Fedri Ruluwedrata Rinawan, M.ScPH., Ph.D.
“As a doctor who studies public health and geospatial, geospatial technology is very helpful in modeling the movement of the main pandemic factors, namely Biological Factor of the Virus, as well as the people’s activities or the distribution. Therefore, the collaboration is needed between various fields of science such as doctors, technology and geospatial experts, mathematicians, and those from other fields to help the government determine the direction of policies related to pandemics, and geospatial technology is one of the right tools for such collaboration,” said dr. Fedri [03/26/20].
Currently, the dashboard maps the confirmed and active cases, deaths and recoveries, and regions where COVID-19 infections have been recorded.
It also features important datasets on transportation facilities available, travel advisory leads and key referral hospitals for COVID-19 cases. All data were sourced from government agencies such as the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transportation among others.
Furthermore, it also features live twitter feeds from relevant government agencies such as the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization and the office of President Jokowi.
“During this time, the availability of authoritative data and information to all local authorities and the community is crucial in planning precautionary measures to prevent local transmission of the virus,” Dr Istamar said.
“Most importantly, having a one-stop portal for all information will avoid the spread of misinformation and fake news that is aggravating this public health crisis.”
Dr Istamar explained that the COVID-19 Geoportal is built on an ArcGIS Hub initiative-based approach which aims to promote greater engagement and collaboration between government agencies, non-profit groups and the academia.
“Adopting this approach allows us to not only provide map visualizations but also data, Application Programming Interface (API) and services that can be used by the communities to create their own apps without any programming skills required,” he said.
Dr Istamar highlighted the University of Indonesia’s SiCOVID Hub and the University of Brawijaya Malang’s COVID-19 Hub as excellent examples of how organizations could empower communities to make innovative approaches in solving challenges brought about by COVID-19.