Maps, Pandemics, and Reckoning with History


Geospatial data has long been an important tool for scientists and scholars, but now, as society grapples with both a pandemic and a history of systemic racism, mapping is proving useful to track coronavirus cases and possibly shed light on the issues of structural racism and inequality. PISC Senior Scholar, Ken Steif, PhD, program director of Master of Urban Spatial Analytics (MUSA), emphasizes GIS significance especially, where maps are going to be used to make decisions or manage resources, such as PPE or food aid.

Dr. Steif says, "...Now, it’s about converting data to a decision-making analytic, and that is really difficult. There’s a tremendous amount of data, and it is my mission to help organizations, particularly governments, think about how to use maps to better align resource supply and demand.

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