dotMaps Helping Cities to Safely Reopen During the COVID-19 Pandemic

SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

By John Biesak

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on communities across the globe as city after city has issued lock-down orders to limit the virus’ spread. Measures to restrict travel and enforce social distancing have transformed business centers and other public spaces, which are usually bustling with activity, into ghost towns. Even as the coronavirus curve begins to flatten, simply returning to business as usual is not a prudent option for impacted communities. Recognizing this, state and local governments are starting “post-peak” planning to enable the public to safely ease back into day-to-day life. To get cities back up and running safely, community leaders are finding creative ways to gradually loosen restrictions on mobility while maintaining social distancing. To help in these efforts, cities are using dotMaps, SADA’s powerful project coordination tool to better manage the public right-of-way. 

Built using Google Maps and Google Cloud Platform, dotMaps is designed to support organizations whose operational success depends upon effective communication and accurate geolocation for ongoing projects. The Seattle Department of Transportation, for example, is leveraging the dotMaps application for the city’s recently announced Stay Healthy Streets initiative. To help residents adapt to their new normal, Seattle is closing selected streets to allow residents additional space to exercise during their Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. People with destinations along Stay Healthy Streets – like residents, essential workers, emergency service providers, delivery providers, and garbage and recycling collectors will continue to have vehicle access. Using dotMaps, the city is able to keep residents informed on the stretches of greenway that have been designated as Stay Healthy Streets. 

During the next phase of the pandemic, as other cities and states across the country start to gradually reopen, dotMaps will prove to be an essential tool to keep the public healthy and informed. To help other cities and states get back up and running during these unprecedented times, SADA is offering a free three-month dotMaps subscription as well as a free implementation of permit information, capital improvement project data, and other projects impacting the public right-of-way. This limited-time offer enables cities and states to leverage dotMaps to identify areas that are available to the public in the following ways:

  • Essential services mapping to connect the public with businesses that are open and providing essential services 
  • Mapping business reopenings to connect the public with nonessential businesses that are subject to phased reopening plans
  • Mapping out efficient ways to bring in the new wave of capital improvement projects occupying the right-of-way

After the trial period is over, participants can simply discontinue the service, but as cities like Seattle and Chicago demonstrate, dotMaps has proved invaluable even before the pandemic. The application has helped them manage infrastructure projects, cut down on conflicts, save taxpayer money, and improve quality of life by reducing unnecessary roadwork and easing traffic congestion.

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