As a way to provide the Minnesota public with a “one-stop-shop” for publicly available emergency/disaster planning and response mapped information, SharedGeo has created the Minnesota Situational Awareness Viewer (MNSAV). Extensive research was conducted to ensure the public domain data sources used were the best available as of date of map release in early August 2020.
Although initial incident information presented focuses on response to COVID-19, data related to other types of incidents common in Minnesota such as significant flooding and wildfires can be added as they occur in the years ahead. Similarly, future development plans anticipate directly incorporating many of the individual data resources presently listed in the “Other Situational Awareness Maps and Info” section.
MNSAV was designed and implemented by SharedGeo programmer Nicole Helgeson using a Leaflet mapping framework. It can be accessed directly via the dedicated domain of mnsav.org.
Because many trails in the park are unimproved and meander in ways which have confused even experienced response teams, the park decided to follow Cobb County’s lead and leverage the ELM system. In doing so, a uniform geo-referencing system for response on trails and other locations without street addresses has now been established for both inside the park and in the surrounding north Atlanta metro.
Recently, Dr. Nancy Reed, SharedGeo Administrative Director was interviewed by Voice of America about SharedGeo’s U.S. Spread of COVID-19 Maps and Analytics website. Other individuals featured in the piece included academics from Johns Hopkins University, University of Virginia, and California State University – Northridge. The interview by Alex Gorbachev, International Multimedia Journalist for Voice of America Russian Service, was broadcast on Saturday, April 18 to help millions of citizens in former USSR states understand the significant impact COVID-19 was having in the U.S. and how mapping technologies were being employed during the pandemic.
Voice of America (VOA) is the largest U.S. international broadcaster, providing news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of more than 280 million people. It is carried on a network of more than 2,500 affiliate stations.
In announcing release of the map, SharedGeo indicated it had two objectives:
1.) To visually demonstrate to U.S. citizens the rapidly expanding nature of the COVID-19 virus so individuals and organizations will take to heart the warnings, precautions, and preventive measures requested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others in the medical and Public Health sectors, and
2.) To start a discussion about the need for better granularity of location reporting when dealing with health crises. Across the spectrum of disasters which can befall a nation, nothing is more pervasive and debilitating than pandemic. Yet, the critical role which location intelligence can play in managing these types of situations has been historically lacking. This remains true despite there being effective ways to provide medically related location data without violating patient privacy. For an example, see https://usng-gis.org/.
SharedGeo will update the map daily so long as data is available, and the map’s availability is deemed worthwhile.
SharedGeo is extremely pleased to welcome Brian Huberty to the SharedGeo Board of Advisors.
Over the last four decades, Mr. Huberty has applied remote sensing and geospatial assessment technologies for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Department of the Interior – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, and with the Aerial Image Technology corporation. Prior to his retirement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in September 2019, Mr. Huberty was one of the U.S. government’s most senior environmental remote sensing scientists.
In partnership with the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (USpatial), SharedGeo was pleased to be able help organize the Minneapolis OSGeo Community Sprint, which was held May 14-17, 2019, at the University of Minnesota. Developed under the guidance of Steve Lime, Kari Guerts and Howard Butler, the event brought together 40 open source programmers from around the world for four days of collaboration and code improvement of OSGeo projects. Although participants were expected to pay for travel and lodging, meals and entertainments were covered by sponsorship donations from 13 organizations. Prudent money management by the event leads also meant that over $3,000 was sent on to OSGeo for support of the 2020 Community Sprint in Athens, Greece. From all reports, the event was highly successful in terms of software improvement and creation of collaborative connections.
Working in close partnership with Atlanta based geospatial firm Team Spatial, SharedGeo has been integral to implementation of a comprehensive emergency response trail marking system covering 100’s of miles of urban recreational trails in Cobb County, Georgia. The combination of SharedGeo’s Emergency Location Marker (ELM) system and Team Spatial’s efforts to enhance location information available in E911 dispatch and responder mobile data terminals has led to the county being recognized for innovation and improved trail safety. The items below provide expanded details of this story:
In its annual review of most read stories during the past year, the Geospatial Information & Technology Association announced on December 28, 2018 that an article featuring efforts of SharedGeo Technical Director Bob Basques at the City of St. Paul, Minnesota was one of its top 10 for the past year. The story entitled Open Source Viewer Sharing All City’s Geospatial Data Can Run on Raspberry Pi was published in the well-known geospatial blog Between the Poles, and sequentially picked up by GITA News Hub on March 22 with the following lead in:
At GITA 2018 in Phoenix, Bob Basques, GIS Systems Developer at the City of St Paul, described a system called COMPASS he and his team have developed that provides a shared, easy to use tool that allows city employees and the public access to all of the City’s spatial and associated data including, for example, scans of surveyors’ notebooks, 2.2 million street level photos, and permitting and licensing information from 200 different applications.