Managing social distancing post lockdown using GIS

GIS-based dashboards were useful in tracking coronavirus's path. Now it will be used to implement social distancing rules too.

Managing social distancing post lockdown using GIS
GIS for social distancing

Managing social distancing post lockdown using GIS

The spread of novel coronavirus paused everything for a while, but now governments are easing restrictions step by step. It is crucial to bring everything on track once again to overcome huge economic losses. To ensure proper social distancing, some precautions and safety rules have to be followed. Geospatial techniques are useful in monitoring and planning in such a crisis. We have already seen how various GIS-based dashboards were useful in tracking coronavirus's path. Now it will be used to implement social distancing rules too.

Pavement Map for safer walking by Esri

Esri UK did a spatial analysis to study the condition of pavements in the country. Since they are less than 3 meters apart, pedestrians cannot have a distance of 2 meters that will violate the social distancing guidelines. A map showing the pavements' width was prepared that reveals only 30% of pavements are 3 m wide in Great Britain. Used data from Ordnance Survey, Esri UK. The map data is free for the public sector and organizations to be adapted for safe walking. 

Around 30 local authorities are using the pavement map that was a part of the COVID-19 Disaster Response Program by Ersi UK.

Beach Capacity using GIS

People have started crowding beaches with the easing of the lockdown. Esri UK's survey revealed that about 78,000 people could fit onto the beach in Bournemouth, 60,000 in Brighton, 3,000 in Barafundle, 24,000 in Newquay, and 24,000 in Lukenstyre. The technique used involves placing a person inside a 2 m diameter circle that follows the 2 m social distancing rule. Another 2m is added between circles to allow people to move around on the beach. 

The spatial analysis was done using ArcGIS software. The MasterMap Topography Layer of the Ordnance Survey was used to calculate dry sand on beaches based on average high tides. Finally, the total number of 2m circles with 2m social distancing space was calculated for each beach.

Reopening parks safely

As the public places are reopening now, the danger of disease transfer has increased. In order to manage the park visitors, Tennessee has taken the help of GIS applications. The GIS-based web application will help in tracking the park visitors in real-time. 

For risk analysis in parks, a web survey app is there to collect data from park managers. At TNState Parks.com, the public can view the park status. GIS helps in responding to such situations quickly. It will also support tracking PPE and cleaning supplies in parks. 

GIS techniques help in better monitoring of large areas where public gathering can be dangerous. Implementing social distancing is essential to minimize the spread of the virus.