LOOK: Pinoy-made app wins prestigious international NASA hackathon

An integrated public policy information portal measuring the impact of the coronavirus pandemic developed by Filipinos won the Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge in the best use of data, the solution that best makes space data accessible, or leverages it to a unique application.

Using Earth observation, in-country economic and human mobility data, and global infection case counts, data analysts Nick Tobia, Helen Mary Barrameda, Kristel Joyce Zapata, Theresa Rosario Tan, and Miguel Oscar Castelo from CirroLytix created a dashboard for policy makers and economic planners to show the impact of COVID-19 on various countries and effects on the economy and environment.

Screenshot of G.I.D.E.O.N. app

Named G.I.D.E.O.N. (Global Impact Detection from Emitted Light, Onset of Covid-19, and Nitrogen Dioxide), the portal uses news feeds, Google mobility data, and coronavirus cases revealing the multi-dimensional impact of lockdown and other interventions. Night lights from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and nitrogen dioxide levels from Sentinel-5P show current impacts and forecast effects of lockdown. Google’s community mobility reports, global infection data from Johns Hopkins University, and nitrogen dioxide data reveal pollution levels produced by human activity, and monitor which countries keep air quality under control as they bounce back from lockdown and pave the way for the “new normal.”

G.I.D.E.O.N. is one of the six global winners selected by NASA, ESA, JAXA, CSA, and CNES, and one of the three teams shall have special access to the Euro Data Cube environment. If travel is deemed safe, winners shall also be invited to visit a NASA site to view a spacecraft launch.

However, travel, accommodation, and food costs are not included. Lead organizer Michael Lance M. Domagas appeals support for the current and past winners, finalists, and especially to the four-year community who worked so hard in bringing honor for the country. “After being recognized by five leading space agencies of the planet, its time for our own country to show appreciation and give support for those who are stepping forward in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects in our society today to defeat our common enemy,” he said.

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