NORRISTOWN – Montgomery County has been recognized for excellence for the way it provided data-driven insight into the local spread of COVID-19 through a hub and dashboard on the county’s website.
The county recently received the 2020 Geographic Information System (GIS) Excellence Award for the COVID-19 hub and dashboards it launched last year that provided the region with integration to updated maps and health data on the spread of COVID-19. The award was presented by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania on May 11, at the Virtual PA GIS 2021 conference.
Montgomery County GIS manager David Long and analyst Jim Rebilas developed the hub, which was shortlisted for the award by GIS professionals statewide.
“Building trust with our communities by being transparent and providing data-driven insight on COVID-19 has always been a top priority from the start. I’m proud that Montgomery County was able to lead the way in providing the most information about the pandemic in the region, ”County Commissioners Chairperson Valerie A. Arkoosh said upon hearing of the award. “I commend Dave and Jim for the work they have done to help our administration and residents make informed decisions to stay safe during the pandemic.”
The site began in March 2020 with a simple interactive map showing the location and demographics of COVID-19 cases in the county, and as the pandemic spread, it has grown into a central site complete with maps. cases, hospitalization data, a safety net and financial resources, and general pandemic information. The original site has seen more than 8 million views and continues to get an average of 10,000 visits per day, officials said.
“In addition to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GIS has also played a vital role in other county activities such as elections, local business growth opportunities and general public safety,” said added Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr., vice chairman of the board of commissioners. “GIS data will also be essential in helping us rebuild our economy by identifying the sectors that have been hit hardest and most in need of help.”
To visit the hub site, residents can go to www.montcopa.org and click on “COVID-19 Data Hub” under “Coronavirus Updates”.