Esri Indonesia’s Emergency Spatial Support Centre (ESSC) launched a COVID-19 Geoportal to help local authorities and communities take precautionary measures against the virus.
According to Dr. Achmad Istamar, CEO of Esri Indonesia, the COVID-19 Geoportal works as a public health tool that integrates information from the relevant government agencies and visualises it on a dynamic mapping dashboard, giving users a compelling real-time view of the outbreak.
Implementing geospatial technology in such emergency situations was also covered in an Esri Indonesia webinar "Introducing onemap.id & Prevention Act in a State of COVID-19" by Dr. Fedri Ruluwedrata Rinawan, M.ScPH., Ph.D.
"Geospatial technology is very helpful in modelling the movement of the main pandemic factors, as well as the people’s activities or the distribution,” said Dr. Fedri. “To do this, 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. Geospatial technology is one of the tools to enable such a collaboration.”
The COVID-19 Geoportal maps the confirmed and active cases, deaths and recoveries, and regions where 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 is sourced from government agencies such as the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Transportation.
It also features live twitter feeds from relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation, 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 visualisations 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 organisations could empower communities to make innovative approaches in solving challenges brought about by COVID-19.
About the ESSC
The ESSC — Esri Indonesia’s disaster response unit — is supporting government authorities in managing and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The centre has previously provided emergency response and relief efforts with geospatial technology and expertise in the wake of natural disasters like the Palu-Donggala earthquake, tsunamis, the eruption of Mt. Agung in 2017, and the recent Jakarta floods.