CANTON — North American cases of the novel coronavirus are now being tracked by SUNY Canton students.
A spring-semester class of crime mapping students through the university’s Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity have used their Geographic Information Systems skills to create a U.S.-based coronavirus tracking map, which can be viewed online.
Students in the crime mapping course typically use GIS software to track criminal activity, according to the university.
GIS software, which is used to manage and store spatial data, overlaying multiple types of data, is available through several mapping companies. SUNY Canton students are using ArcView GIS, a mapping platform produced by the Environmental Systems Research Institute, known as Esri.
Coronavirus tracking maps — from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Johns Hopkins University — have continued to track cases around the world, but the SUNY Canton class decided to dedicate a separate map for cases in North America, according to Nicholas S. Wildey, crime mapping professor and a lecturer in the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity.
Using data from the WHO and open-source news, Mr. Wildey’s students have determined the exact locations of confirmed cases in the United States.
“Detailed outbreak maps help us understand the spread of the disease and provide useful information for emergency planners,” he said.
Confirmed cases are indicated by an orange dot, with the size of each dot reflective of how many cases have been identified in that area — the bigger the dot, the more known cases.
As of Thursday at noon, the CDC reports 15 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, now named COVID-19, in the United States, with no known cases in New York.
More than 400 people in the U.S. have tested negative for the virus, and 52 cases are pending.