Since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Earth science specialists from around the globe have been exploring ways to use unique Earth observation data to help understand and potentially combat the virus. This is why the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the National Centre for Space Studies decided to launch a special, all-virtual spin-off of NASA’s Space Apps Challenge.
The Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge took place from May 30-31, 2020, and brought together 15,000 participants from 150 countries (including 352 from Canada). Over the course of 48 hours, the participants used a variety of open data, including Government of Canada sources such as the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Public Health Infobase for data on COVID-19 in Canada and CSA’s open data on atmospheric pollutants, to propose solutions to one of 12 challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenges presented participants with unique opportunities to use the data, such as documenting environmental changes caused by COVID-19, determining how COVID-19 is affecting the world food supply, and identifying patterns between population density and COVID-19 cases.
In total, 1000s of open data-driven solutions were presented for the 12 challenges. The solutions that used Canadian open data included a platform that determines the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19, a website that tracks how quarantine affects local carbon emissions, and a COVID-19 Preparedness Index Calculator. The winning teams will be selected in August 2020.
Participants used Canadian and international open data to evaluate the effectiveness of a country’s public health measures by comparing the number of COVID-19 cases and infection rates. Through their data analysis, the participants were then able to develop recommendations to help minimize the negative impacts of the pandemic on a global and national scale.
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Submitted by Stewart Emmons on November 20, 2020 - 1:40 PM
The real affects of pandemic
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