Barcelona Supercomputing Centre makes available to scientists its data tool for COVID-19 cases and citizen mobility

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  • Covid-19 Flow-Maps integrates data from known COVID-19 cases and citizen mobility
  • The tool can serve as support to the administrations, for decision making; to epidemiologists, to feed their models with updated data, and to citizens, to visualize the relationship of the pandemic, mobility and its associated risk
  • The Covid-19 Flow-Maps project is fed daily with data from the health administrations and the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center - National Center for Supercomputing (BSC-CNS) makes available to administrations, researchers and citizens a geographic information tool that allows visualizing the risk of spread of COVID-19 associated with population mobility .

The Covid-19 Flow-Maps platform integrates data from known cases of COVID-19, from the health administrations (Ministry of Health and health ministries of the governments of Castilla y León, Catalonia, Madrid, Navarra and the Basque Country) and data of mobility of citizens of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.

All data in the system are georeferenced, which allows its representation on a map and facilitates its integration, analysis and interpretation. Covid-19 Flow-Maps allows you to visualize the risk of contagion of Covid-19 in a specific area associated with the influx of citizens from other geographical areas.

The risk is calculated based on relating the known cases of COVID-19 with the data that tells us to which areas and with what intensity the citizens of the affected areas are moving. Mobility patterns are inferred from anonymized and aggregated mobile phone data by day and area of ​​mobility.

The data are automatically updated as the administrations incorporate them into their public information systems and the detail of the information is offered at the provincial level, at the level of the whole of Spain, and at a smaller scale (areas or basic health zones) when this information it is available, as is the case in the communities of Castilla y León, Catalonia, Madrid, Navarra and the Basque Country.

Covid-19 Flow Maps is an initiative of the Department of Life Sciences of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and its objective is to be a support to health authorities when making decisions and also a tool available to epidemiologists and the general public .

Flow-Maps offers web access through dashboards that allow you to visually explore the status of the pandemic and the risk associated with mobility. In addition, all the information contained in the database can be accessed using an API-REST, designed for professionals who want to integrate the data into their own systems.

Flow-Maps coordinator, Miguel Ponce de León, explains that this is “the first installment of a set of BSC tools to analyze, visualize and predict the behavior of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working to integrate epidemiological models into the platform that feed on these data and allow progress in risk prediction. "

For his part, Alfonso Valencia, ICREA professor and director of the BSC Department of Life Sciences, affirms that “the massive size of the mobility data, the peculiarities of the distributed health information and the integration with epidemiological models constitute a scenario complex, in which we can progress thanks to the enormous technical and computational capacities of the BSC ”.

Covid 19 Flowmaps has been made with funds from the Department of Digital Policies and Public Administration of Catalonia, through the Center for Innovation for DataTech and Artificial Intelligence (CIDAI); of the Secretary of Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, and of the National Institute of Bioinformatics - Carlos III Health Institute (INB-ISCIII), dependent on the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

This article was first published on 25 November by CSIC.

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