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SUNY Canton Students Create US-based Coronavirus Tracking Map

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Students in SUNY Canton’s Crime Mapping course are using their newly acquired knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS) mapping to track coronavirus cases in the United States.

“We use daily situational reports from the World Health Organization combined with open-source news to determine exact event locations,” said Lecturer Nicholas S. Wildey, who teaches in the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. “Detailed outbreak maps help us understand the spread of the disease and provide useful information for emergency planners.”

US Map detailing coronavirus outbreaks by city

Wildey said that while there are a number of maps and dashboards to track the coronavirus, including one created by Johns Hopkins University, his class saw the need to develop one dedicated to instances in North America.

The class is focused on using a web-based version of ArcView GIS by mapping company Esri. The map pinpoints locations of noted cases with an orange dot. The larger the dot, the more cases are known in that area. There are approximately 15 known cases in the U.S.

Typically, students use the software to map crime instances. This is a valuable tool among professional law enforcement because it can help spot local and national patterns.

About SUNY Canton

As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.