- Mapping the Pandemic
Since December 2019, tens of millions of cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide and disrupted the lives of almost everyone on the planet. Numerous geospatial applications have been developed and shared over the Web to either visualize or help prevent further spread of the pandemic. Innovative mobile applications are now in full swing to help individuals find a COVID-19 testing spot, safely move in their city using public transport, find a weekend activity with social distancing measures for families to enjoy, or even select a low-risk vacation destination. At the same time, researchers and health officials use maps to analyze the spread of the disease and advise the government's stakeholders to make decisions for the public safety and common good. As researchers and organizations across the globe are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, they all rely on the "location matters" principle and the fundamental mapping concepts and practices to understand the phenomenon and develop state-of-the-art geospatial intelligence methods and tools.
In August 2020, the editorial team of Cartographica invited submissions of original research focusing on novel methods and tools for mapping the spread of pandemics, their impact and/or the mitigation of their effects. This special issue published as the first issue of the journal for 2021, numbered as volume 56, issue 1, include six high-quality manuscripts from international authors. These manuscripts present novel results on mapping and tracking the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, the United States, and the world; but also research outcomes for historical epidemics and pandemics, including the 1918 influenza pandemic and the malaria threat to ancient Roman travellers. [End Page 1]