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1.
Comput Urban Sci ; 1(1): 22, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1514102

ABSTRACT

Effectively monitoring the dynamics of human mobility is of great importance in urban management, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, the human mobility data is collected by roadside sensors, which have limited spatial coverage and are insufficient in large-scale studies. With the maturing of mobile sensing and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, various crowdsourced data sources are emerging, paving the way for monitoring and characterizing human mobility during the pandemic. This paper presents the authors' opinions on three types of emerging mobility data sources, including mobile device data, social media data, and connected vehicle data. We first introduce each data source's main features and summarize their current applications within the context of tracking mobility dynamics during the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, we discuss the challenges associated with using these data sources. Based on the authors' research experience, we argue that data uncertainty, big data processing problems, data privacy, and theory-guided data analytics are the most common challenges in using these emerging mobility data sources. Last, we share experiences and opinions on potential solutions to address these challenges and possible research directions associated with acquiring, discovering, managing, and analyzing big mobility data.

2.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0255259, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344152

ABSTRACT

In response to the soaring needs of human mobility data, especially during disaster events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and the associated big data challenges, we develop a scalable online platform for extracting, analyzing, and sharing multi-source multi-scale human mobility flows. Within the platform, an origin-destination-time (ODT) data model is proposed to work with scalable query engines to handle heterogenous mobility data in large volumes with extensive spatial coverage, which allows for efficient extraction, query, and aggregation of billion-level origin-destination (OD) flows in parallel at the server-side. An interactive spatial web portal, ODT Flow Explorer, is developed to allow users to explore multi-source mobility datasets with user-defined spatiotemporal scales. To promote reproducibility and replicability, we further develop ODT Flow REST APIs that provide researchers with the flexibility to access the data programmatically via workflows, codes, and programs. Demonstrations are provided to illustrate the potential of the APIs integrating with scientific workflows and with the Jupyter Notebook environment. We believe the platform coupled with the derived multi-scale mobility data can assist human mobility monitoring and analysis during disaster events such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and benefit both scientific communities and the general public in understanding human mobility dynamics.


Subject(s)
Information Dissemination/methods , Population Dynamics/trends , Big Data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Statistical , Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Population Dynamics/statistics & numerical data , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Workflow
3.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 14694, 2021 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317817

ABSTRACT

Shaped by human movement, place connectivity is quantified by the strength of spatial interactions among locations. For decades, spatial scientists have researched place connectivity, applications, and metrics. The growing popularity of social media provides a new data stream where spatial social interaction measures are largely devoid of privacy issues, easily assessable, and harmonized. In this study, we introduced a global multi-scale place connectivity index (PCI) based on spatial interactions among places revealed by geotagged tweets as a spatiotemporal-continuous and easy-to-implement measurement. The multi-scale PCI, demonstrated at the US county level, exhibits a strong positive association with SafeGraph population movement records (10% penetration in the US population) and Facebook's social connectedness index (SCI), a popular connectivity index based on social networks. We found that PCI has a strong boundary effect and that it generally follows the distance decay, although this force is weaker in more urbanized counties with a denser population. Our investigation further suggests that PCI has great potential in addressing real-world problems that require place connectivity knowledge, exemplified with two applications: (1) modeling the spatial spread of COVID-19 during the early stage of the pandemic and (2) modeling hurricane evacuation destination choice. The methodological and contextual knowledge of PCI, together with the open-sourced PCI datasets at various geographic levels, are expected to support research fields requiring knowledge in human spatial interactions.


Subject(s)
Social Interaction , Social Media , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cyclonic Storms , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , Spatial Analysis , United States
4.
The Professional Geographer ; : 1-19, 2021.
Article in English | Taylor & Francis | ID: covidwho-1223159
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 8396, 2021 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1193600

ABSTRACT

We describe the use of network modeling to capture the shifting spatiotemporal nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. The most common approach to tracking COVID-19 cases over time and space is to examine a series of maps that provide snapshots of the pandemic. A series of snapshots can convey the spatial nature of cases but often rely on subjective interpretation to assess how the pandemic is shifting in severity through time and space. We present a novel application of network optimization to a standard series of snapshots to better reveal how the spatial centres of the pandemic shifted spatially over time in the mainland United States under a mix of interventions. We find a global spatial shifting pattern with stable pandemic centres and both local and long-range interactions. Metrics derived from the daily nature of spatial shifts are introduced to help evaluate the pandemic situation at regional scales. We also highlight the value of reviewing pandemics through local spatial shifts to uncover dynamic relationships among and within regions, such as spillover and concentration among states. This new way of examining the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of network-based spatial shifts offers new story lines in understanding how the pandemic spread in geography.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spatio-Temporal Analysis , United States/epidemiology
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(24)2020 12 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011501

ABSTRACT

The U.S. has merely 4% of the world population, but contains 25% of the world's COVID-19 cases. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., Massachusetts has been leading other states in the total number of COVID-19 cases. Racial residential segregation is a fundamental cause of racial disparities in health. Moreover, disparities of access to health care have a large impact on COVID-19 cases. Thus, this study estimates racial segregation and disparities in testing site access and employs economic, demographic, and transportation variables at the city/town level in Massachusetts. Spatial regression models are applied to evaluate the relationships between COVID-19 incidence rate and related variables. This is the first study to apply spatial analysis methods across neighborhoods in the U.S. to examine the COVID-19 incidence rate. The findings are: (1) Residential segregations of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Black/African Americans have a significantly positive association with COVID-19 incidence rate, indicating the higher susceptibility of COVID-19 infections among minority groups. (2) Non-Hispanic Black/African Americans have the shortest drive time to testing sites, followed by Hispanic, Non-Hispanic Asians, and Non-Hispanic Whites. The drive time to testing sites is significantly negatively associated with the COVID-19 incidence rate, implying the importance of the accessibility of testing sites by all populations. (3) Poverty rate and road density are significant explanatory variables. Importantly, overcrowding represented by more than one person per room is a significant variable found to be positively associated with COVID-19 incidence rate, suggesting the effectiveness of social distancing for reducing infection. (4) Different from the findings of previous studies, the elderly population rate is not statistically significantly correlated with the incidence rate because the elderly population in Massachusetts is less distributed in the hotspot regions of COVID-19 infections. The findings in this study provide useful insights for policymakers to propose new strategies to contain the COVID-19 transmissions in Massachusetts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/ethnology , Health Services Accessibility , Social Segregation , African Americans , Health Status Disparities , Hispanic Americans , Humans , Incidence , Massachusetts/epidemiology
9.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 17(24):9528, 2020.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-984386

ABSTRACT

The U.S. has merely 4% of the world population, but contains 25% of the world’s COVID-19 cases. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., Massachusetts has been leading other states in the total number of COVID-19 cases. Racial residential segregation is a fundamental cause of racial disparities in health. Moreover, disparities of access to health care have a large impact on COVID-19 cases. Thus, this study estimates racial segregation and disparities in testing site access and employs economic, demographic, and transportation variables at the city/town level in Massachusetts. Spatial regression models are applied to evaluate the relationships between COVID-19 incidence rate and related variables. This is the first study to apply spatial analysis methods across neighborhoods in the U.S. to examine the COVID-19 incidence rate. The findings are: (1) Residential segregations of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Black/African Americans have a significantly positive association with COVID-19 incidence rate, indicating the higher susceptibility of COVID-19 infections among minority groups. (2) Non-Hispanic Black/African Americans have the shortest drive time to testing sites, followed by Hispanic, Non-Hispanic Asians, and Non-Hispanic Whites. The drive time to testing sites is significantly negatively associated with the COVID-19 incidence rate, implying the importance of the accessibility of testing sites by all populations. (3) Poverty rate and road density are significant explanatory variables. Importantly, overcrowding represented by more than one person per room is a significant variable found to be positively associated with COVID-19 incidence rate, suggesting the effectiveness of social distancing for reducing infection. (4) Different from the findings of previous studies, the elderly population rate is not statistically significantly correlated with the incidence rate because the elderly population in Massachusetts is less distributed in the hotspot regions of COVID-19 infections. The findings in this study provide useful insights for policymakers to propose new strategies to contain the COVID-19 transmissions in Massachusetts.

10.
ArXiv ; 2020 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955086

ABSTRACT

Understanding human mobility dynamics among places provides fundamental knowledge regarding their interactive gravity, benefiting a wide range of applications in need of prior knowledge in human spatial interactions. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic uniquely highlights the need for monitoring and measuring fine-scale human spatial interactions. In response to the soaring needs of human mobility data under the pandemic, we developed an interactive geospatial web portal by extracting worldwide daily population flows from billions of geotagged tweets and United States (U.S.) population flows from SafeGraph mobility data. The web portal is named ODT (Origin-Destination-Time) Flow Explorer. At the core of the explorer is an ODT data cube coupled with a big data computing cluster to efficiently manage, query, and aggregate billions of OD flows at different spatial and temporal scales. Although the explorer is still in its early developing stage, the rapidly generated mobility flow data can benefit a wide range of domains that need timely access to the fine-grained human mobility records. The ODT Flow Explorer can be accessed via http://gis.cas.sc.edu/GeoAnalytics/od.html.

11.
Cities ; 107: 102869, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693589

ABSTRACT

The special epistemic characteristics of the COVID-19, such as the long incubation period and the infection through asymptomatic cases, put severe challenge to the containment of its outbreak. By the end of March 2020, China has successfully controlled the within- spreading of COVID-19 at a high cost of locking down most of its major cities, including the epicenter, Wuhan. Since the low accuracy of outbreak data before the mid of Feb. 2020 forms a major technical concern on those studies based on statistic inference from the early outbreak. We apply the supervised learning techniques to identify and train NP-Net-SIR model which turns out robust under poor data quality condition. By the trained model parameters, we analyze the connection between population flow and the cross-regional infection connection strength, based on which a set of counterfactual analysis is carried out to study the necessity of lock-down and substitutability between lock-down and the other containment measures. Our findings support the existence of non-lock-down-typed measures that can reach the same containment consequence as the lock-down, and provide useful guideline for the design of a more flexible containment strategy.

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