University of Richmond Department of Geography Creates Open Access COVID-19 Digital Dashboard Using GIS Technology

Mapping and Data Project Focuses on Virginia, but Includes All U.S. Coronavirus Cases
May 1, 2020

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — The UR Department of Geography has used GIS (geographic information system) technology to create a COVID-19 Dashboard.

Beth Zizzamia, GIS operations manager in UR’s Spatial Analysis Lab, created the dashboard using data from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center.

The dashboard, a tool that is free and open to the public, includes the number of Virginia cases and breaks those down by county in both a map and list format. The data is updated in close to real time. 

Zizzamia says the mapping project will be of interest to the general public, and it may be particularly helpful to journalists, teachers, and scholars.

“The Johns Hopkins information is at the highest level, and it’s a great resource to look at COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and across the globe,” Zizzamia said. “The UR dashboard is different because it focuses on the state-level details that people living and working in Virginia might be most interested in.”

Zizzamia, who helps oversee the use of GIS technology for academic research at UR, decided to tackle the project after learning through a blog by ESRI, the industry standard of GIS software, that Johns Hopkins was encouraging GIS professionals to use the data to create more specific projects.

“Beth has done a terrific job mapping the data so that Virginians can clearly see how their county and the surrounding counties are coping with COVID-19 every day,” said David Salisbury, chair of the Department of Geography and the Environment.

Zizzamia is now working on adding additional layers to the project, including social distancing scoreboards and unemployment rates by county.

The dashboard is available at