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Enel X and HERE join hands to support COVID-19 emergency


Hippocrates, the father of medicine, wrote about the connection between health and location in about 400 BC. Taking a geographic view of health has always helped in developing more effective solutions to mitigate health issues. Common problems cannot be solved without intervention and intervention is impossible without visualization offered by ‘Maps’. GIS-based mapping helps in identifying patterns and get insights which lead to unmatched solutions that have the capacity to solve health crises quickly.

COVID-19 pandemic is an exceptional health crisis that has taken the world by storm. The entire world is staggering under its influence and while every country is trying to find a way to control the spread, maps can play a vital role in controlling the harm.

Technology companies worldwide are innovating every day and coming up with solutions to fight the coronavirus. For instance, recently, Google released COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports to help authorities understand the impact of movement restrictions imposed to control the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Italy is one of the worst affected countries of the world with 183,957 confirmed cases as on April 22, 2020 as shown by the Coronavirus Live Update. In this hour of health emergency, it is not surprising for the largest Italian energy company, Enel X to collaborate with world’s #1 location platform, HERE Technologies and create a map-based solution to combat the spread of COVID-19.

To aid the Italian governmental agencies fight COVID-19, Enel X and HERE Technologies have launched the ‘City Analytics – Mobility Map’, a big-data solution which is equipped to provide Italian governmental agencies with mobility indicators to analyze the impact of COVID-19 containment measures.

The solution will enable the authorities to gain a better understanding of the impacts of the COVID-19 containment measures, identify areas that need more support in the implementation of these measures and analyze the gradual return to normalcy, once the pandemic is over.

Using anonymized and aggregated location data from connected vehicles’ sensors, navigation systems, mobile applications and governmental agencies, the City Analytics – Mobility Map will estimate variations in public movements and kilometers travelled throughout the national, regional and municipal areas. It will largely aid in finding out developments in mobility flows across the territory and consequently plan the recovery phase.

According to Edzard Overbeek, CEO, HERE Technologies, “HERE Technologies is determined to leverage its location intelligence in the fight against the global coronavirus pandemic. Together with Enel X, we hope to help the country contain and control the spread of the coronavirus while protecting the privacy of Italians.”

The data-analysis will significantly aid in fighting COVID-19 and bringing in normalcy post pandemic by indicating the daily percentage change in the number of trips in an area and the total kilometers traveled, as compared to a weighted average from January 2020. It will provide aggregated regional, provincial and municipal views.

The City Analytics solution will also indicate the proportion of incoming and outcoming daily and weekly trips according to the origin or the destination per region, province and municipality.

“The new release of City Analytics is an innovative tool developed to meet the needs of government agencies taking on the emergency. Thanks to the collaboration with HERE Technologies we have provided the country with an effective solution for evaluating developments in mobility flows across the territory, which can be used to plan the recovery phase” said Francesco Venturini, Head of Enel X.

What makes the solution from Enel X and HERE Technologies more useful in this time of crisis is that it is providing the data-analysis free of cost. Governmental bodies and the Civil Protection Department can access the data on the Enel X YoUrban portal for free until May 31st, 2020. The solution can be accessed at https://www.enelx.com/it/it/smart-city/soluzioni/soluzioni-smart/dashboard-covid-19.

The data is also available to the public. If anyone is interested in knowing about the mobility flows throughout the national, regional and municipal areas, he can know it through the dashboard on the Enel X website and support the Italian government during this challenging period.

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Earth Day 2020: Celebrate as a citizen scientist even during lockdown

April 22, 2020, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. And this historic event coincides with a global pandemic that has mandated shelter-in-place for more than half of the world’s population. So, how do you celebrate? Virtually, of course!

Nonprofit organization Earth Day Network (EDN) was born out of the first Earth Day in 1970. With more than 75,000 partners spread over 190 countries, EDN is arguably the largest recruiter to the environmental movement that aims to drive transformative changes for both the planet and its inhabitants.

For Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, EDN had plans to launch the largest volunteer cleanup in history, organizing more than 100,000 events in the US and another 100,000 events globally to collect one billion pieces of trash. But with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines putting that campaign on pause, EDN has decided to regroup digitally.

Suggested: A letter from Earth to humans on Earth Day

Here are some of the ways you can join-in to celebrate Earth Day even during the lockdown:

Download the Earth Challenge 2020 mobile app

EDN has released a mobile application called Earth Challenge 2020 to gather critical environmental data. Available on both Android and iOS platforms, the app urges citizen scientists to gather important scientific data on air quality and plastic pollution near them. The data you submit will be validated by machine learning algorithms or expert reviewers. The resulting database — of over 1 billion data points — will be displayed on a public map and made available as open data for researchers to use.

Here’s a preview of the app in action:

Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, says, “As a citizen, it feels good to report about something that’s bothering you. A continuous feed of information at volume and at a global scale will make these issues impossible to ignore.”

Join global digital mobilization EARTHRISE

The initiative is named after the famous image of our planet (below) as seen from the moon, captured on Christmas Eve 1968 by NASA’s Apollo 8 mission. This very photo helped to inspire the first Earth Day event.

Earth Day 2020

Credit: NASA

Over the 24 hours of April 22, 2020, EARTHRISE will fill the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more, demanding a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable world. Some of the world’s most inspiring musicians, artists, scientists, and thought leaders are expected to become a part of this movement.

Using the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE, you can also share what are you fighting for (for example, a better world for your children, safe drinking water, etc.), what compels you to act, and your motivations to participate in this fight. Moreover, EDN’s social media handles will share 24 actions for the planet – one for each hour of the day – that you can easily take from wherever you are on April 22.

Interesting read: NASA images show Antarctic island losing 20% snow cover in 9 days

And with more than 65 countries scheduled to host major elections in 2020, you could also use Earth Day as an opportunity to make your demands known, and when the time comes, elect those people to power who will work to defend our planet.

As EDN puts it: “While coronavirus may physically distance us, it will not silence or divide us. Through the power of digital media, we’re more connected than ever. On Earth Day 2020, we seize all the tools and actions that we have, big and small, to change our lives and change our world, not for one day, but forever.”

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