GeoinformatikCOVID-19 Map of Hope

Press Release Nr 23/2020
6 April 2020

Heidelberg geoinformatics scientists and physicians document worldwide clinical research on coronavirus / COVID-19

An online map developed by Heidelberg University geoinformatics scientists in cooperation with physicians from Heidelberg University Hospital provides an overview of the global clinical research activities on coronavirus and its related respiratory disease COVID-19. Based on data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the “COVID-19 Map of Hope”, which is updated regularly, shows the countries and locations where related research is taking place as well as the areas of virus and disease control in which research is being conducted. Its main purpose is to facilitate the flow of public information and enable contacts between researchers. The map is available for free on the internet.

COVID-19 Map of Hope

"Scientists and physicians have immediately responded to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic with focused research activities. Unlike diverse other maps that depict case numbers and the spread of the virus, we consolidate and visualise geodata and information on clinical studies and scientific publications," explains Prof. Dr Alexander Zipf, head of the Geoinformatics Department at Heidelberg University’s Institute of Geography as well as Managing Director of the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT), which is funded by the Klaus Tschira Foundation.

The map is based on regularly updated international data provided by the WHO on COVID-19 related clinical trials. "We hope that our map is useful to the global community in the fight against COVID-19 and we are open for further ideas. Anything that will help our patients is welcome," states Prof. Dr Dr Markus Ries of the Center for Child and Adolescent Medicine at the Heidelberg University Hospital, who is lending his medical expertise to the project.

The map allows users to see where clinical trials are being conducted – whether in diagnostics, understanding the disease, treatment methods, or drugs for novel therapies and vaccines. Furthermore, other studies are investigating the pandemic's impact on helpers. The locations are displayed precisely at city level. The time slider can be used to analyse when studies were registered and at what stage they are. Email addresses of the respective researchers are also provided. According to the Heidelberg scientists, functions are being added constantly.