IPMI News: City Tech Launches New Resources to Understand Community Impact of COVID-19

By City Tech Collaborative

June 1, 2020

Chicago Health Atlas Combines New Data from HERE Technologies With 160+ Neighborhood-Level Datasets to Unlock New COVID-19 Insights

CHICAGO – City Tech Collaborative has launched a new resource webpage on the Chicago Health Atlas to help community partners, health care providers, researchers, and the general public understand COVID-19’s impact on local neighborhoods and find related resources. Building on the Chicago Health Atlas’ existing resources, the new COVID-19 page includes links to the latest COVID-19 data and testing locations, data on underlying conditions tied to the virus, and a map of essential businesses by zip code using HERE Technologies data. Visit the page at www.ChicagoHealthAtlas.org.

The Chicago Health Atlas is a health data resource including information on Chicago’s 77 community areas and over 160 health and demographic indicators including healthcare services, safety, income, and illness and death rates. The Atlas equips communities with open data and street-level resource maps that can be compared over time and across communities to drive future actions. Data on the Chicago Health Atlas is provided by over 30 sources including the Chicago Department of Public Health, MAPSCorps, and the Sinai Urban Health Institute.

Health organizations are racing to understand how health and wellness factors impact the spread and severity of COVID-19. With black Chicagoans dying from the coronavirus at a rate nearly six times greater than white residents, more data and research are needed to fully understand the pandemic and disparities that exacerbate health inequality. Open data from the Chicago Health Atlas serves as a resource to access and understand data that can be linked to COVID-19 trends and outcomes.

“The COVID-19 crisis highlights the need for data transparency and informed action,” said Dr. Wayne Giles, Chicago Health Atlas Advisory Member and Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Open data platforms like the Chicago Health Atlas put information directly in the hands of residents, healthcare providers, policymakers, and community organizations that can assess what’s happening and deliver local support where it’s needed most.”

The addition of HERE Technologies’ data expands the Chicago Health Atlas’ resources by 62,000 data points. Arranged by zip code, the map view shows the location and contact information for essential businesses operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, including banks, ATMs, grocery stores, food pantries, transportation options, and healthcare and government services. The COVID-19 page also links to the Atlas’ data on underlying conditions, the open application programming interface (API), COVID-19 funding resources and testing sites, and the latest COVID-19 data from the City of Chicago.

“Location data provides important context and benefit during public health emergencies,” said Adrian Novik, Senior Director of Global Content Product Management and Innovation at HERE Technologies. “We’re proud to contribute to the Health Atlas’ existing resources page localized data and information for the community to better understand what is accessible during this challenging time.”

Screenshot from the Chicago Health Atlas shows the new resource map resources for zip code 60601 that incorporates HERE Technologies’ data.

Data from the Chicago Health Atlas can help identify urgent, unmet needs in underserved communities.  In a COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall in April 2020, the Chicago Racial Equity Rapid Response Team used the Atlas’ open data to show how the South Shore community experiences higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, and asthma compared to the rest of the City. For example, 32% of South Shore residents have limited food access compared to 8.5% of Chicago residents overall. Groups such as the Racial Equity Rapid Response Team are responding to the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on African American communities and correlating underlying conditions and COVID-19 risks. City Tech offers training to organizations to utilize Chicago Health Atlas data in conjunction with their own work to inform additional research and programming responses.

The new COVID-19 data resources are part of City Tech’s broader response to the pandemic, including partner training on data visualization and analysis. City Tech’s Partnership Innovation Fund also provides direct funding to help Health Atlas partners prepare and add new datasets to the platform. The Chicago Health Atlas is part of City Tech’s Healthy Cities Initiative, which addresses physical, socioeconomic, and technological barriers to strong and vibrant communities. City Tech is also pursuing COVID-19 related work and collaborative solution development in advanced mobility, parking innovation, freight and logistics, and urban infrastructure. These solutions are helping address current issues while also positioning cities and partners to “bounce forward” in the wake of coronavirus and be better prepared for emerging needs and future crises.

To explore the Chicago Health Atlas and access the latest data, visit www.ChicagoHealthAtlas.org.

For more information about City Tech Collaborative, training on using the Chicago Health Atlas for your organization, or to add your own data to the resource, contact City Tech at Collaborate@CityTech.org.

Click here to download the press release (PDF).


About City Tech Collaborative (City Tech): City Tech is an urban solutions accelerator that tackles problems too big for any single sector or organization to solve alone. City Tech’s work uses IoT sensing networks, advanced analytics, and urban design to create scalable, market ready solutions. Current initiatives address advanced mobility, healthy cities, connected construction, and emerging growth opportunities. City Tech was born and raised in Chicago, and every city is a potential partner. Visit www.CityTech.org and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the Chicago Health Atlas: The Chicago Health Atlas is a community health data resource that residents, community organizations, and public health stakeholders can easily search, analyze, and download neighborhood-level health data for the City of Chicago. A City Tech solution, the Chicago Health Atlas was initially developed in 2012 by the Smart Chicago Collaborative and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) with funding from the Otho S.A. Sprague Memorial Institute. Explore the Chicago Health Atlas by visiting www.ChicagoHealthAtlas.org.

About HERE Technologies: HERE, a location data and technology platform, moves people, businesses and cities forward by harnessing the power of location. By leveraging our open platform, we empower our customers to achieve better outcomes – from helping a city manage its infrastructure or a business optimize its assets to guiding drivers to their destination safely. To learn more about HERE, please visit www.here.com and http://360.here.com.