Hybrid Panel Session ESRI

Geospatial Data, Dashboards, Analytics and Scientific Communication
Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic


Date and Location

December 15, 2021 in the Aula Magna of the School of Humanities
via Laura 48 / 5:00 – 7:00 PM (CET)


Organized by:

Paola Zamperlin – University of Pisa (in person) and Aileen Buckley – Esri, Redlands (in person)

Moderated by:

Aileen Buckley – Esri, Redlands (in person)


Tim Trainor – ICA (in person)


Este Geraghty

Esri Chief Medical Officer (virtual)


Dr. Geraghty is the Chief Medical Officer at Esri, developer of the world’s most powerful mapping and analytics platform. She leads strategy and messaging in Health and Human Services and is passionate about delivering value thru a geographic approach. Formerly a Deputy Director with the California Department of Public Health, she led the state’s open data initiative. She also served as Associate Professor at the University of California Davis, conducting research on geographic approaches to health policy and community development. In addition to degrees in Medicine, Medical Informatics and Public Health, Dr. Geraghty is also a Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP).

Frank Dong

Johns Hopkins University (virtual)


Ensheng Dong, who goes by Frank, is a Ph.D. Candidate and a Louis M. Brown Engineering Fellow at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is an experienced researcher with a demonstrated history of working in transmission and telecommunication industries and higher education. He is skilled in data science, spatial analysis, R, Python and ArcGIS. Frank is a strong research professional focused on system engineering and public health.

Jim Herries

Redlands – ArcGIS Living Atlas (virtual)


Jim Herries is a geographer with Esri in Redlands, California. He serves as a principal product engineer on the team responsible for ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. Jim is particularly engaged in thematic mapping and map visualizations, reflecting a drive to help GIS users bring their data to life on the map and to stimulate insights. He constantly looks for ways to create clear, focused map information products that incorporate meaningful spatial analysis and evocative visualizations.

Gianni Campanile

Project Manager – Esri Italia (in person)


Gianni Campanile, an expert on GIS standards, is project manager at Esri Italia, the Italian official distributor for Esri Inc. He graduated in mathematics in 1985 and has worked in IT fields since then. He started working with Geographical Information Systems on 1995 and joined in Esri in 2004 in a variety of roles, including software developer, technical leader, project manager, and solution architect. He is currently project manager for all Italian local and central administration projects.


Tim Trainor (in person)


Tim has been involved in cartography his entire professional life. He had a long career at the U.S. Census Bureau, culminating in the position of Chief Geospatial Scientist. He continues to work with the United Nations in advancing global geospatial information. He attended his first ICC in 1987 in Morelia, Mexico, and has participated in every ICC since then. In Morelia, he joined the Commission on Atlases, became Commission Chair in 1995, and remained active until he was elected as a Vice President of ICA from 2007-2015. He is now the President of the ICA, for the 2019-2023 term.

Session Description

The nature of a crisis is that it both magnifies our systemic shortcomings while also inspiring innovation. COVID-19, as a long-term global crisis has followed suit, exposing inadequate data systems, lack of interoperability, and delayed and rather terse communication systems. At the same time, needs such as pattern prediction, trend analysis and real-time reporting inspired innovation.

Geospatial tools provide unparalleled opportunities to solve pandemic challenges. Early in the pandemic, the dashboard that Johns Hopkins University stood up served as the only global resource for real-time situational awareness. It has since received trillions of hits and inspired similar dashboards for other geographies, including countries, states, and provinces, cities, and more.

In this session, we review the innovations fueled by modern geographic information systems and their implications for a more resilient future. Panelists will speak from a variety of perspectives about finding and collating COVID-19 data; performing analysis of the data to reveal salient and actionable information; pairing GIS and cloud technology as the foundation for collaboration and interactivity; and creating maps and dashboards to visualize and communicate the scientific information in a form that people from all over the world can digest quickly, easily and accurately.