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Webinar on Geo-statistical Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis


Wednesday 20 May, 15.30-17.30 Central European Summer Time


The Global Forum for Geography and Statistics (GFGS) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) joined forces to create a webinar to discuss and share examples on how geospatial and statistical information are being combined to support the response to the COVID-19 crisis (see flyer).

The webinar started with a presentation of several initiatives from different countries and organisations, followed by an open discussion on ideas, experiences and good practices which aimed to identify any possible areas for international collaboration. Key points highlighted included:

  • The importance of integrating data from multiple sources - statistical, geospatial, administrative and other
  • Ireland and Mexico were able to react quickly by re-using and re-purposing pre-existing tools, data-flows, partnerships and legal frameworks. This highlights the importance of designing for re-use, not just for one specific purpose
  • Data sharing and integration are facilitated by common standards, particularly in crisis situations
  • Dashboards are a user-friendly approach to present key information at a glance

Agenda and Presentations
15.30 - 15.40

Welcome and introduction

  • Steven Vale (UNECE)
  • Vilni Verner Holst Bloch (GFGS)
15.40 - 15.55

Presentation 1a / Presentation 1b

The GFGS COVID-19 response

Vilni Verner Holst Bloch (GFGS / Statistics Norway), Ana Santos (Statistics Portugal), Kevin Sahr (Southern Oregon University)

PlanetRisk Grids

15.55 - 16.10

Presentation 2

Eurostat’s response to COVID-19:
Mapping European
healthcare services

Julien Gaffuri (Eurostat)

16.10 - 16.25

Presentation 3

Ireland’s innovative approach to monitoring the COVID-19 Outbreak through geospatial visualisation

Kevin McCormack (CSO Ireland)

16.25 - 17.25

Open discussion

Including 3 micro-presentations:

Excess mortality maps - Hugo Poelman (European Commission DG Regional and Urban Policy)

Global COVID-19 Viewer - Kytt MacManus (Center for International Earth Science Information Network / Columbia University)

Analytical Display for COVID-19 - Isaak Pacheco (INEGI, Mexico)

17.25 - 17.30Summary and conclusions





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