On March 19, Esri’s Disaster Response Program requested GISCorps assistance in helping to fill critical information gaps they were hearing from the user community in the response to the COVID-19 disease pandemic. The first task was for creating a nationwide layer of COVID-19 testing site locations. This dataset is openly available to local governments, healthcare providers, and the public as one component of the comprehensive Coronavirus Response Solution that Esri is offering free of charge for six months to public health agencies and other organizations that request it. GISCorps and Esri are also coordinating with the federal Crowdsourcing Team on current and future needs.
Over 500 U.S. volunteers with ArcGIS Online experience responded to the recruitment email sent out by the GISCorps Core Committee.
Working together in a dedicated Slack channel and a custom Volunteer Portal Dashboard equipped with an embedded editing application built with Web App Builder, these volunteers are hard at work scouring official sources for testing site locations and requirements. Each volunteer has “adopted” one or more counties and committed to updating data for those counties on a daily basis throughout the mission.
GISCorps volunteers also collaborated with Coders Against COVID, who contributed physician-vetted data they had developed through their crowdsourcing site, findcovidtesting.com.
Volunteers are also sharing a public Survey123 form with contacts at health departments, local governments, and healthcare facilities so that those organizations can submit updated information as soon as it is made public. Volunteers review these submissions, verify their accuracy against official websites, and add them to the map on an ongoing basis. They have been instructed to include only those testing sites whose locations have been made public through official channels such as the websites of health departments, local governments, and testing providers.
In addition, GISCorps can provide a spreadsheet template to state and local government agencies or healthcare providers to facilitate bulk upload of testing site locations; please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about that option.
To facilitate public access to COVID-19 testing site location data, GISCorps has configured a mobile-friendly public Testing Site Locator application, a COVID-19 Testing in the United States dashboard and a COVID-19 Data Explorer application. In addition, a public view layer of the Testing Sites dataset is available as an ArcGIS REST service or a JSON file for anyone who would like to use it. All these resources are available on the GISCorps COVID-19 Resources Hub site.
Press about this mission
App of the Week: COVID-19 Testing Sites Locator (FEMA Response Geospatial Office Weekly Bulletin. April 24, 2020.)
GISCorps Builds an Authoritative Map of COVID-19 Testing Sites (Esri Blog. April 29, 2020.)
What’s New in Civic Tech: Gov Data Efforts Evolve in Crisis (Government Technology. April 30, 2020.)
Recruitment complete; project in process.