As New Zealand enters our third week of lockdown, I'm sure there's a few people out there, like me, who are going a bit stir crazy. The desire to get out and expand your horizons is palpable, and yet with lockdown this just isn’t possible. Being close to a park makes lockdown more bearable. The open green space is a great place to go for exercise, with appropriate social distancing.
For many people, the COVID-19 lockdown has allowed us to spend time walking around our neighbourhood. This may be the first opportunity you have had to spend time exploring your local area for some time. Those of you who are parents, like me, may be exploring the local area by going on a bear hunt. I even go out on walks with superheroes these days!
It has been almost two weeks since the New Zealand government announced the COVID-19 lockdown. The advice given to the public is to stay at home and only to go out for essential needs or exercise around your local area. Logically, it is expected (and is already evident) that this lockdown will have a massive effect on our road network, as the way we are moving or lack of has drastically changed. However, at what point prior to this shut down did New Zealanders really start shifting their travel choices in response to this pandemic and how did tourist hotspots respond to travel restrictions prior and after the lockdown?
Congratulations to Chris Morris, Group Manager for our Spatial and Technology team, who was recently certified as a "Geographic Information Systems Professional" (Asia Pacific) by Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI).
In just a few weeks of starting my new job at Abley as a Graduate Spatial Advisor, I found myself mapping the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across New Zealand. This project allowed me to put into practice some of the new skills I have acquired so far, and learn from the opportunity of working with real-time data, with some help from my colleagues. The following is a brief rundown of the process I used to create and maintain a real-time dashboard and some of the challenges I faced.
On Tuesday 23 March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lifted New Zealand’s COVID-19 alert status to Level 3 and announced this will move to Level 4 on Wednesday 25 March for a minimum of 4 weeks. Under Level 4, all non-essential services must close their physical premises and staff must self-isolate and work from home.