Coffee Hour Lecture: Mapping Human Mobility Changes and Geospatial Modeling of COVID-19 Spread

4 p.m., to 5 p.m. Friday, March 5
Webinar on Zoom

Coffee Hour is a Friday lecture hosted every other week by the Department of Geography celebrating interdisciplinary scholarship and collegiality. For spring semester 2021, talks will be held via Zoom webinar.

About the talk

To contain the COVID-19 spread, one of the nonpharmaceutical interventions is physical (social) distancing. An interactive web-based mapping platform, which provides up-to-date mobility and close contact information using large-scale anonymized mobile phone location data in the US, was developed and maintained by the GeoDS Lab at UW-Madison. Using the multiscale human mobility origin-to-destination (OD) flow data, a novel mobility-augmented compartmental epidemic model was further developed to help analyze the COVID-19 spread dynamics at multiple geographical scales (e.g., state, county, and neighborhood), inform public health policy, and deepen our understanding of human behavior under the unprecedented public health crisis. 

About the speaker

Song GaoSong Gao is an assistant professor in geographic information science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he leads the GeoDS Lab. He holds a doctorate from University of California Santa Barbara, a master of science degree from Peking University, and a bachelor of science degree with honors from Beijing Normal University. His main research interests include place-based GIS, human mobility, and GeoAI for social sensing. He is the author of 50+ publications with 3,000+ Google scholar citations in prominent journals and conferences. He is the principal investigator of multiple research grants from NSF, WARF, Microsoft and several geospatial industry partners. He currently serves as the associate editor of Annals of GIS, editorial board member of Scientific Reports, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, the academic director of AAG Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group. He was the recipient of the Waldo Tobler Young Researcher Award in GIScience, The U.S. Cartography and Geographic Information Society Doctoral Scholarship, and the International Cartographic Association Scholarship. He was a data scientist and software development intern at Apple Maps and Esri Inc., and has a passion for connecting innovative theoretical research to advancements in geospatial industry for solving real-world challenges.