Colorado man helping visualize the coronavirus pandemic with interactive maps

One map shares stories of loved ones who have died
Posted at 3:51 PM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 19:22:41-04

DENVER -- Coronavirus data is continually being updated, and Jeremiah Lindemann knows it can be challenging to put those figures into perspective. That's why he's working on ways to visualize that data better.

In some cases, it means using a map to breakdown cases by zip code or a map that displays the current inventory of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

"It's always better to see things on a map. People relate to things much more when they can see it, 'oh yeah, it's in my community.' It's here rather than just seeing a bar graph or numbers coming out," said Lindemann, a product engineer for Esri.

Lindemann is building templates for maps that are being used to display COVID-19 data across the United States and the world. Lately, he's working on a hyperlocal level with several government agencies and health departments in Colorado.

"Mesa County, Routt County, are a couple of examples of they're just taking the templates and mapping cases looking at things in more detail, maybe more of a zip code level, where the positive cases are coming in and who's sick and in some cases deaths as well," said Lindemann.

Routt County is also using the technology to survey residents for symptoms of COVID-19. Lindemann says there's countless applications like a map of testing sites or coronavirus-related closures.

Denver7 interviewed Lindemann back in 2017 as he worked to break the stigma associated with the nation's opioid crisis. He lost his little brother to an opioid overdose and created a map called "Celebrating Lost Loved Ones" to show the victims of the opioid epidemic. Family members and friends can contribute their own stories to the map.

Lindemann and volunteers with GISCorps decided to collaborate on a similar map that will share stories of people who died as a result of coronavirus.

"This might be a way that we can help tell some of those stories but also just help some of the families kind of share that it's not what some of those perceptions have been, that it's just a bunch of old people or people with pre-existing conditions," said Lindemann.

Here's a link to the Coronavirus Lost Loved Ones map. Just like the opioid map, family members and friends can honor their loved ones by contributing their stories here.