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GIS Day on November 18th: Mapping the Pandemic

You are invited to join the Library of Congress in celebrating GIS Day on Wednesday, November 18th from 1-4pm EST, with an afternoon of engaging talks and discussions on the theme of “Mapping the Pandemic Cases, Traces, and Mutations.”

This presentation will premiere with closed captions on both the Library’s YouTube site and on the Library of Congress website. The presentation will also be available for viewing afterwards at those sites.

For almost everyone in the world, the last few months have been unlike any experienced in their lifetimes. The current public health crisis, spawned by the outbreak of COVID-19, has shown that viral pathogens pose an ever-present danger to global human health and economic stability. For cartographers and epidemiologists tracking the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, trying to understand its evolution, zoonotic spillover and mutations, as well as managing the distribution of billions of doses of a potential vaccine and PPE, the virus has presented a geospatial analysis challenge like none other. Speakers for GIS DAY 2020 will look closely at how mapping and GIS technologies have been used to help public health officials, emergency rooms, epidemiologists and the general public  as they all struggle to understand the spread of the disease and to allocate precious resources.


Dr. Este Geraghty, Chief Medical Officer at ESRI
The Role of GIS in Fighting the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

Technical Papers:

Ensheng Dong, Center for System Science & Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
Historic First: Mapping the Pandemic in Real Time

Mike Schoelen, ESRI Health and Human Services
Driven by GIS: A Resilient Supply Chain for COVID-19

John Hessler, Library of Congress & Johns Hopkins University
More Than Just Cases: Mapping the Mutations of SARS-CoV-2


We hope to see you there!

Verba Incognita: A Guide to Deciphering Latin on Maps

This is a guest post by Kelly Bilz, Librarian-in-Residence in the Geography and Map Division. Even though Latin had fallen out of vernacular use after the fall of Rome (and began to evolve into the modern Romance languages), it lived on in its written form, becoming the lingua franca, so to speak, of scholarship. In […]

The Exotic Animals of the Americas

European colonists were fascinated with the wildlife of the Western Hemisphere. They described fauna native to the Americas in memoirs, travel journals and poetry. Pictures of the unfamiliar animals were often printed on maps. In this post I will discuss four colonial era maps that were decorated with illustrations of animals. The two maps of […]

Go East, Young Jew, Go East

(The title of this post is a satirical  improvisation on a quote attributed to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune,  when expressing his views towards the westward expansion of the United States.) Somewhere between China’s Heilongjiang Province (Manchuria) and the Russian Far East, nestled in a southern crook of Siberia’s Amur River, lies […]

Mapping A World Of Cities

Sponsored by the Leventhal Map Center of the Boston Public Library and the MacLean Collection Map Library in Chicago, IL, the Library of Congress is pleased to announce its participation entitled Mapping A World of Cities in a joint project with the American Geographical Society (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), the David Rumsey Map Center (Stanford Libraries, California), […]

William Hacke: A Pirate’s Cartographer

William Hacke was one of the most prolific manuscript chart makers for his time. According to the Oxford  Dictionary of National Biography Hacke produced over 300 navigational charts from 1682 to 1702. In this post I will briefly discuss his career and his role in the pardon of the notorious pirate Bartholomew Sharp. William Hacke was […]

The Atlantic Neptune: An Unparalleled Collection of British Nautical Charts

In the years following the epic struggle for control of North America between the French and British empires, it became apparent to the Royal Navy that there was a considerable lack of adequate charting along the eastern coasts of North America. Thus was born one of the largest charting undertakings to date: The Atlantic Neptune. […]

Fan Maps of the Geography and Map Division

This post focuses on three decorative 19th century fans from the collections of the Geography and Map Division. The art of Asian fan making dates to ancient times. According to Gonglin Qian, author of Chinese Fans: Artistry and Aesthetics the earliest Chinese fan that has been found dates from 475 to 221 BC. It was […]