Motivation

Chris Prener has been maintaining this site has been updated since March as a means for communicating information about the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Missouri. When the site was initially launched, the State of Missouri was not providing much in the way of data about the pandemic on the Department of Health and Senior Services website. Though that has changed to some degree, it also does not provide a comprehensive resource for data from Missouri. Moreover, their dashboard has a number of quirks, occasional problems, and does not always follow best practices for mapping or visualizing data.

What Makes This Site Unique?

Unlike other interactive maps being used to track the outbreak, the interactive maps include the counties in Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma that are part of Missouri’s metropolitan areas. This is also true for the tables and static plots of data from metropolitan areas. The goal is to provide residents of Missouri’s largest cities with a more comprehensive snapshot of the state of the outbreak in the area around them, even if it is across a state line.

The site also integrates data from a number of other data sources that the State of Missouri does not provide on their dashboard. These include data about health disparities and hospitalizations in the St. Louis area, testing and infection data from surrounding states, and zip-code data for St. Louis as well.

About Chris

Chris is an urban and medical sociologist with an interest in mixed methods research designs that incorporate spatial data. His current book project examines the effect of neighborhood context and conditions on emergency medical services work, particularly with patients who have mental illnesses or substance use disorders. Chris also as a grant to conduct pilot work on the effects of historic redlining on contemporary health disparities in St. Louis. He is also part of a research team examining the effects of literacy on mental health service use and recovery, and he is engaged in a number of St. Louis specific projects on street closures, crime, arson, and vacancy. Chris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Saint Louis University. More details are available at his website and he can be contacted at chris.prener@slu.edu.

About the SLU OpenGIS Project

The SLU Data Science Seminar is the host of Chris’s openGIS project. The project is a collaborative effort with Saint Louis University students to curate and host GIS data about the St. Louis area in an accessible manner. We also maintain several R packages that contain tools for working with spatial data. More details about our projects and our commitment to creating an inclusive, welcoming data science community are available on our website.

About Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.




Copyright © 2020 Christopher Prener, Ph.D. All code, data, website content, and images are available under a CC-BY 4.0 license.