As the world rebuilds from the humanitarian and economic loss produced by the pandemic, societies are aware that the world stands at a unique crossroads. On one hand, reconstruction efforts can largely follow the existing models of economic growth and prosperity, using current systems as blueprints to recreate what we had prior to the onslaught of COVID-19. Alternatively, many scientists, academics, and politicians are inclined to galvanize the suffering from the pandemic to rewrite the stands for an economic model that is much more aligned with the environment, sustainability, and social well-being. In many ways, the gravity of the pandemic, with far-reaching effects across all industries, was a forewarning that we are fragile and science and planning can protect us only so far when dealing with the power of mother nature. Environmental scientists have long harped warnings of what might come should pollution levels not change, however changing course often finds friction unless it is provoked by some greater condition. Now that we stand in that unique position, the world must make sound and long-term decisions that will mark the path for decades to come. These decisions, stemming from complex scientific data, are carved into policy and must be effectively communicated to the population in order to be accepted. Custom mapping solutions combining scientific data and georeferenced maps are customizable and highly scalable to show information at the World level as well as within specific communities.
As spring is upon us, bringing welcomed warmer weather and longer days, many are contemplating what normality will look like in the coming months. There is strong hope that as an increased amount of the population becomes vaccinated, the US will be awarded a downed sloping contagion curve. While this is true, there are also worrisome signs that the fourth surge of contagions spurred by the B.1.1.7 variant might also be on the horizon, making the situation a race to vaccinate in large numbers in order to avoid the worst impacts of this latest wave of the virus. Anxious eyes look to their calendars wondering when it will be safe and reasonable to start making social plans. The rollout of the vaccine in the US is gathering momentum and many people have already received an injection or plan to do so in the near future. Studies show that once a person is vaccinated not only are they less likely to contract a serious case of COVID-19, but they are also less likely to spread the virus to others. This is very encouraging news and much of what normalcy will be like hinges on the rate at which countries vaccinate their populations.
Once large sectors are the population are protected, the virus will be limited in its capacity to spread through herd immunity. This will enable governments to ease social restrictions, allowing the economies to reopen and for people to return to more habitual activities, albeit while practicing caution. Given the importance that the vaccination process has for governments and their citizens, it is critical to track the progress using carefully gathered statistical data. This information once tabulated and filtered can be used to drive dynamic world maps to show the rate of vaccinations in real-time and compare the results amongst nations and within regions of specific countries.
For avid skiers and general outdoor aficionados, the 2021 winter season is far from typical. Aside from the usual factors that compose the planning of a ski trip, adventurers this season are also dealing with navigating capped ticket sales, reduced lift capacity, and limited lodging options. Larger nationwide policies that restrict cross-state travel also pose barriers to making long-term plans. For passionate skiers, these hardships are still worth the exhilaration of spending a day whizzing down the slopes and enjoying beautiful winter landscapes. However, as with other aspects of our modern society, technology can play a role in ameliorating some portion of this uncertainty. Most modern mountain resorts have infrastructure presently implemented to enable the pre-purchase of tickets through the website and access to the chairlifts via rechargeable passes. Using real-time data on the movement of skiers, provided by this existing technology, and integrating it with a dynamic trail map can offer solutions to view statistics efficiently from any handheld device. Not only is this useful to visitors, but it also helps with planning for resort administrators.
After a grueling 2020-year, marked by tremendous human and economic loss, the world has high expectations for the efficacy of the new COVID-19 vaccines. While much public attention was given to the vetting and trial process which was expedited to provide a timely release of the vaccine, the actual distribution of the drug might prove to be equally challenging. Not only does maintaining the extreme cold-chain pose logistical problems, but ensuring the distribution of the vaccine across rural communities is essential, not to mention the delivery of the drug to less developed countries. Pharmaceutical companies and central governments are not novices at this process, commonly working together to provide yearly flu vaccines to our communities. However, the magnitude and urgency of the COVID-19 vaccination process is entirely unprecedented. It will require precise oversight to ensure a seamless network from the laboratories manufacturing the drug to the local centers that will be administering the vaccine, along with the distribution of the necessary auxiliary products required for the final administration to patients. This is no small undertaking. Specialists have been constructing plans and reinforcing supply chain networks in preparation for this task. Throughout the process, the system tracks and monitors all steps from the laboratories implanting the vaccines into individual vials to the international supply chains. The entire network is interconnected, often linking the steps with a common denominator so that each vial is accounted for and tracked to its final destination. The use of advanced IT solutions in interactive world maps can help analyze supply chains to enhance efficiency and detect limitations before they cause problems.
The European Union is at a crossroads and the course it charts for the UK will have vast consequences for the region with repercussions throughout the world. As global economies are tightly connected, the decisions made in one region impact countries around the world, in particular when new policies involve commerce. The imminent departure of the UK from the European Union, scheduled to take effect on December 31st, is particularly pronounced given the weight of the UK in terms of GDP within the Union and considering that London is one of the major financial hubs of the world. Early negotiations between the UK and the European Union were thorny but further hindered by the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundation on which the early negotiations were based shifted during the outbreak and many of these talking points also needed to be readjusted. While 2020 and the aftermath in terms of human loss and economic retraction are complicated to calculate, tools to help predict the trajectories in social and economic terms can be helpful in making sound decisions. As the information serves to forecast the future, models need to be flexible to account for variations. Yet as integral as the data is to the model, it is also important to integrate tools to review and analyze the data. When looking at the myriad of factors that play into the UK’s departure from the E.U., interactive maps and dynamic charts assist in examining outcomes and presenting such information to the population as well as politicians handling the negotiation terms.