Bulawayo Operational Observatory and mapping in response to COVID-19 social distancing requirements

Lesley Gibson, Bothwell Sibanda, Onalenna Gwate, Sikanyisile Sibanda, Peter Hargreaves, Gary Watmough

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Sars-CoV-2 is spread through contact between people and an understanding of where people are in contact with each other is necessary to prevent its spread. In this paper, the residential building density of Bulawayo was considered a proxy for high density of people. OpenStreetMap (OSM) building data was downloaded and converted from polygon to point data for use in the analysis. World View 2 data was used to visually map those areas where data was missing in OSM. More automated methods were attempted using eCognition however the short turnaround time of the project limited the success of this approach and work in this regard in ongoing. Land use attribute data was joined to the building shape file in order to select only those building which were designated as residential in nature. The residential building density was calculated per hectare and a hot spot analysis of the residential building density determined statistically significant clusters of high density residential buildings. The high density areas are mostly located in the west of the City, where new settlements are being created to accommodate new arrivals to the city. The East is typified by low density housing, largely a legacy of the City’s colonial past. A series of maps which could be printed on A3 paper were produced for the City. The maps displayed both the results of the hot spot analysis and land use and these have been made available to City officials to help in planning their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
Subtitle of host publicationSpace, Satellites and Sustainability
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2020


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