The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in new information from numerous agencies seemingly every day – a glut of data that can be overwhelming, and, at times, feel too high-level to be relevant, especially for smaller communities. Larson Design Group (LDG) is finding ways to leverage technology typically used for mapping and analysis to sift through the information on behalf of those communities.
“There’s never been more of a need for transparent, accurate, and real-time data that is available to everyone. It enables people to make the best decision for their own unique situation,” said Matt Kalcich, Associate Project Manager. Kalcich works with Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, technology, which gathers and stores data from a variety of sources and, based on a user-created search, visually presents the information as a map.
GIS can be used for everything from cartographic modeling to infrastructure planning, but Kalcich has employed it to create an online hub for the Beaver County Regional Council of Governments that pulls in national data and filters it to display localized statistics for Beaver County.
“This hub technology allows for a central location to obtain real-time information through maps, applications and statistics, creating a one-stop shop for helpful information and resources,” Kalcich said.
The hub – using data looped in from Johns Hopkins University – highlights important information about the pandemic, like where people in the county can find testing centers or the capacities of local or regional hospitals, but also aspects of community life that many rely on in small towns. Visitors to the hub can also see which locally owned businesses are open and find support services and resources near them if their employment has been affected. It’s a “hyper-local” focus, Kalcich said, which is particularly helpful during the uncertainty of the pandemic.
The data being supplied isn’t only being viewed by the general public; Kalcich said the site’s visitors also include emergency services, chambers of commerce, and local government agencies – a practice that is becoming increasingly common, no matter the size of the community.
“We’re helping get information to the people who make decisions,” Kalcich said.
Click here to learn more about LDG’s GIS solutions or watch the video below for an overview of our online hub for the Beaver County Regional Council of Governments.
Founded in 1986, Larson Design Group is an award-winning national architecture, engineering and consulting firm with 12 offices in five states and a vision to elevate client relationships, enrich the careers and lives of its employee-owners, and enhance the communities in which it operates. For more information, visit www.larsondesigngroup.com.
The health and safety of our team members and clients is our top priority. Click here to read about LDG’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.