How Do I Build a COVID-19 Map That Supports My Org?

Many home care and nursing home businesses use business mapping software in their operational environments to better understand the challenges they face. Location awareness has become a primary concern for medical organizations as they do battle with COVID-19 and do their best to protect both their clientele and their employees.

For a long time, the most common application of MapBusinessOnline for home care agencies has been field staff management. The ability to view home locations for home care nurses and aides enabled the creation of efficient vehicle routes to client homes or medical resources. Coverage area visualizations and territory maps have helped define the areas assigned to each clinician and how they fit into the agency’s overall coverage area patterns.

Today, location awareness has become even more important as the COVID-19 contagion works its way through our most at-risk populations across the United States. Assisted living centers, nursing homes, and the personal addresses of home care agency patients are all at-risk locations that medical professionals and public safety organizations need to be very location-aware of.

I did a Google search for USA congregate living centers by address. In no time I downloaded a .CSV file of all the nursing home addresses across the USA. There are 39,763 of them. MapBusinessOnline Standard will allow the import of up to 100,000 records per map. MapBusinessOnline Pro allows up to 250,000 records per map. Clearly, if you need to construct a map visualization of all possible congregate centers Pro may be the way to go. You can always upgrade and we’ll pro-rate your investment.

Business mapping software provides basic visualizations that can assist in prioritizing clinician visits, elevating support services, and assisting with hospital placement decision making. These business map functions include:

  • Client home address locations marked with color-coded symbols that define patient medical status. A glance at a color-coded coverage area map can instantly prioritize and qualify the most critical patient for next morning assessments, repeat visits from specialists, or simply a visit from the closest clinician.
  • Client Address Labels include flexible fields for notation of the top 3 to 5 diagnosis statements. It’s important to understand quickly who has respiratory issues or heart conditions when COVID-19 us suspected.
  • COVID-19 Priority Status has become a critical diagnosis. The disease has definite stages and balancing where a patient is on the progress scale along with their standard non-COVID co-morbid conditions can assist in prioritizing for the day. Import COVID symbols  to assign visual priority to critical patients.

Tracking the Virus’s Progress

Coverage area map views can include a variety of location datasets, relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic. Medical centers, dentists, and health care specialist addresses are easily imported into the map view. Believe it or not, during a pandemic the occasional tooth still needs to be pulled. These locations can be mapped to reflect status:

  • Medical Service Centers – Open or closed for business and business hours.
  • On-call Offices – Of the various health care services, who are on-call for emergencies?
  • Pharmacies Offering COVID Testing – This is a thing that’s happening now. Which pharmacies are offering testing?

Some industries are more susceptible to COVID outbreaks. Meat plants were the latest COVID hotspots over the past few weeks. Locally new industry hotspots will likely develop that are a surprise to local authorities. Maps are a great way to track and share such hotspots among constituents.

Are there churches in the communities that have high numbers of COVID-19 cases confirmed? Add them to your map. Which restaurants are open for touch-free to-go service and delivery? As the states open back up for business which restaurants are certified for safe social distancing and cleanliness? Add these location-based address datasets to your COVID map.

Search for COVID-19 case and death data for your area by county, town, or ZIP code. MapBusinessOnline makes it easy to post those location records. If you do this regularly or access data with multiple weeks’ results, you can use the Graphs and Bar Charts symbol tool to show the virus’s progress in each area. These results will visually display whether the virus is subsiding or expanding in a county or town.

Sharing Your Map

As a famous cartographer once said, “Maps are for sharing.” Yes, I know, so is COVID-19.

Seriously, MapBusinessOnline provides multiple ways to share your resource map with people who will get value out of it. MapBusinessOnline maps can be shared as image files or as interactive web maps.

Use the save as an Image File button on the Master Toolbar to snap a picture of your map view and drop it into a web page or PowerPoint.  I often use my Windows 10 Snipping Tool to collect a map view snapshot. The Share Interactive Map button will enable a map link you can drop into an email and share it with constituents.  They can click the link and access the map view – pan and zoom, route, save files, but no editing.  There will be a non-Flash Player version released later this month as a downloadable app for free viewing – so look forward to that.

MapBusinessOnline provides the critical tools necessary for your business to go visual with your particular COVID-19 data. Share it with us. We’d love to see how you use the tool.


Are you using the MapBusinessOnline Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Impeach Adobe Flash Player!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to MapBusinessOnline in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!


About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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