The Impact of COVID-19 on Geography, GIS, and Education


  • Estella Geraghty Chief Medical Officer, Esri, Inc., Redlands, California USA.
  • Joseph Kerski Education Manager, Esri Inc., Redlands, California USA and Geography, University of Denver, Louisville, Colorado USA.


The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the education sector in profound ways. Particularly in the fields of geography and geographic information systems (GIS), educators are responding by using modern, web-enabled GIS with spatial analytical tools, streaming data services, maps and web mapping applications, and virtualization techniques to teach these subjects online. They are also expanding their collaboration with colleagues since increased awareness and use of interactive maps and dashboards by the general public stimulated interest in spatial thinking with a result of GIS technologies being newly incorporated into several academic disciplines. In fact, COVID-19 itself offers a rich opportunity for meaningful lessons in the value of interactive mapping and analytical tools. Outside of the educational process, the pandemic has also inspired increased use of geographic perspectives and technologies in decisions about when, where, and at what scale to reopen educational institutions.


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A geographical and crosscutting look at the COVID-19 pandemic in an international framework (ed. by Cristiano Pesaresi)