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7 Ways Geospatial Data Helped During The Outbreak Of Covid-19

7 Ways Geospatial Data Helped During The Outbreak Of Covid-19


Geospatial Data Helped During Covid-19

Geographic information science (GIS) has been established as a distinct domain and is incredibly useful whenever the research is related to geography, space, and other spatial dimensions. 

However, the scientific landscape on the integration of GIS in COVID-related studies is largely unknown. Let us assess the implementation of GIS and other geospatial tools during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 is part of the coronavirus family that causes a range of familiar diseases from the common cold to SARS. Covid-19 is referred to as a novel coronavirus because it is new to humans. It is transmitted through the air with high risk in proximity.


7 Ways Geospatial Data Helped During The Outbreak Of Covid-19                                                       7 Ways Geospatial Data Helped During The Outbreak Of Covid-19


The main advantage of GIS is mapping the many different locations of treatment and isolation facilities which helps in better monitoring and surveillance of the disease.

GIS was also employed to:

  • Forecast the disease
  • Predict areas where outbreaks were likely to occur 
  • Identify disease cluster or hotspot
  • Evaluate different strategies to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Map/track the spread of the virus throughout different locations
  • Constantly update the number of people affected and provide real-time information 
  • Identify the catchment areas, vulnerable groupshealth centers, and movement of carriers of the disease. 

With these data, it was easier for governments, health bodies, and associations to use the power of GIS to visualize all of the health data during the outbreak and spread of Covid-19 and therefore employ the best tactics and practices to combat the virus.

The widespread use of GIS for COVID-19 response has demonstrated the power of geospatial thinking and the scalability, speed, and insight it provides. 

More than simply mapping phenomena, GIS uses geography to furnish context for events in a common reference system.


How Can Gis Be Used To Estimate Flood Damage?

How Can Gis Be Used To Estimate Flood Damage?

How Can Gis Be Used To Estimate Flood Damage?

We are currently in the rainy season here in Nigeria. In many areas, as people are happy to have the rains, including farmers and ranchers, others are unhappy due to the damages the heavy rains could cause to roads and properties. 

Many parts of the country are known to be unable to withhold the impact of heavy rains which can lead to flooding, erosion, damage to buildings and infrastructure, loss of crops and livestock, and landslides that can threaten human life and disrupt transport and communication.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provides a broad range of tools for determining areas affected by floods and for forecasting areas that are likely to be flooded due to high water levels in a river. GIS will be extensively used to assemble information from different maps, aerial photographs, satellite images, and digital elevation models (DEM).

How Can Gis Be Used To Estimate Flood Damage? How Can Gis Be Used To Estimate Flood Damage?

Input parameters such as flood data, land use, socioeconomic data, and rainfall values are used to estimate flood damage. For any particular geographic area, it is important to have certain tools and software. These programs and data sets are top-notch for the GIS researcher. 

Computer programs:

  • ArcGIS 10 (ArcView)
  • HEC-GeoHMS for ArcGIS 10
  • HEC-GeoRAS for ArcGIS 10
  • ArcHydro tools (the version that works with ArcGIS 10)


Required Datasets:


  • Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for the study area; 
  • SSURGO soil data;
  • Land cover grid from USGS;
  • Hydrography data


Several models and tools can be developed using these parameters. It all depends on the discretion of the researcher, their knowledge, expertise, and the purpose of the research. 

If used properly, these tools can be used to determine information, including hazard, vulnerability, financial losses, the risk to life, and prevention, and control of dangerous floods. 

GIS and the Environment

GIS and the Environment

GIS and the Environment

GIS means Geographic Information Systems. It is a potent tool for environmental data analysis and planning.  Through the application of GIS technologies, the environment can be monitored for an effective and improved understanding of its physical features and the factors that influence certain environmental conditions.

 GIS helps in identifying the impact of human behavior on natural resources and leads to more effective utilization and understanding of these factors. Data about natural resources could be collected through remote sensing, aerial photography, or satellite imagery and then they are mapped using GIS technology.


GIS and the Environment GIS and the Environment

In order to plan and monitor the environmental problems, some of the ways GIS is used in environmental management include:

  • Identification of contamination sources, assessing environmental constraints, and evaluating proposed highway alignment alternatives.
  • Assessment of hazards and risks for effective disaster management and protection of the environment by showing the areas that are much more likely to be prone to both man-made and natural disasters.
  • Discovering how natural atmospheric processes might affect global warming and climate change
  • Evaluation of flood damage by mapping core risk areas for documentation and provision of disaster relief funds. 
  • Soil Mapping for prevention of environmental deterioration due to land misuse. Farmers in developed countries can use this to determine the suitability of soil and the extent of soil nutrients.

In summary, GIS is used in the delivery of crucial information about the environment to the environmental managers and the public with the intent that such information should be applied for the betterment of the environment. GIS provides an ideal atmosphere for professionals to analyze data, apply models, and make the best decisions.

GIS VS GPS: What’s The Difference?

GIS VS GPS: What’s The Difference?

GIS VS GPS: What’s The Difference?

One might wonder what the difference is between GIS and GPS. At a glance, one might wonder what the difference is between both terms.  It is important to highlight the variance between both abbreviations as many take them to be interchangeable, probably due to the first and last letters being the same.


GIS is the acronym for Geographic Information Systems. It is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface. GIS can help individuals and organizations better understand spatial patterns and relationships by relating seemingly unrelated data. It is a type of database containing geographic data, combined with software tools for managing, analyzing, and visualizing those data.


 GIS data can be used to create charts, maps, and 3D models of the earth’s surface. This includes hills, mountains, trees, buildings, streets, rivers, etc. GIS provides a visual representation of data, shows relationships between locations, and can help to determine the best location for certain placements such as a new retail store of the proximity of other stores and availability of customers.

GPS on the other hand represents Global Positioning System. It is a positioning system based on a network of satellites that continuously transmit coded information. The information transmitted from the satellites can be interpreted by receivers to precisely identify locations on earth by measuring distances from the satellites.

The system consists of a worldwide satellite control network and GPS receiver units that acquire the GPS signals and translate them into positioning and timing information. GPS provides highly accurate location information which can be used to improve safety and recover stolen property. It can also be used in mapping and surveying to survey positions and locations on the earth.

One similarity is that GIS and GPS both use location-based services (LBS) applications that use location information to provide a service.

GIS can be used to create or generate a map that can then be interpreted to show patterns such as the movement of people from one place to another, the spread of a particular disease, and so on.

In summary, Global Positioning Systems  (GPS) are used to identify exact locations while  Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a software program used to record information that is collected from the GPS satellites onto maps.

Bathymetry from Space

Bathymetry from Space


According to Wikipedia definition, Bathymetry is the study of the underwater depth of ocean floors, lake floors, or river floors. It is the underwater equivalent of topography.  The first recorded evidence of water depth measurements is from Ancient Egypt over 3000 years ago!


Bathymetry from Space


Large-scale coastal bathymetry is paramount to understanding natural and human-induced coastal behavior and plays a vital role in coastal research.

Bathymetric charts depict physiographic features of ocean beds and sea bottoms. Their primary purpose is to provide detailed ocean depth contours as well as the size, shape, and distribution of underwater features.  Charts are typically produced to support the safety of surface or sub-surface navigation, and usually show seafloor relief or terrain as contour lines (called depth contours or isobaths) and selected depths (called soundings)

Bathymetric maps are increasingly important as scientists learn more about the effects of climate change on the environment. Bathymetric surveys can alert scientists to potential erosion, flood, sea-level rise, and land sinking.

 A bathymetric survey helps ship navigation by identifying possible paths that a vessel can safely take since some ocean routes may have rocks and coral deposits or low depths that pose a danger to ships.

The General Bathymetric chart of oceans (GEBCO) data sets are available for ocean and land surveys.

Recently, satellite 2 shores algorithms have been employed to invert coastal bathymetry from wave kinematics, making it possible to use Satellite-derived imagery on regional coastal bathymetry from space for West Africa including; the Gulf of Guinea and the Niger Delta.

Conclusions of Bathymetry from Space

There are various justifications for using portrayals of global synthetic bathymetry: the information coverage is nearly worldwide and reasonably uniform; the acquisition of basic altimetry data by orbiting satellites is relatively cheap and fast compared with conventional depth sounding by ships; it is adequate as a reconnaissance tool over large unmapped features, and it is useful for regional tectonic investigations.


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