Mapping the New Recovery

Photo of Patrick Sims Patrick Sims · May 21, 2020

Reopening Is Not Recovery

With record unemployment and the looming threat of a virus resurgence, simply reopening is not the recovery Americans need or deserve.

We Need New Solutions

As an official partner of the Google Maps Platform, LGND’s Analytics team joined forces with Google Maps on a webinar to showcase the platform’s ability to produce real-time insights and immersive experiences to better understand our rapidly changing world, down to an exact location. When combined with LGND’s data-driven design, technology, and storytelling expertise, businesses and governments can use the Google Maps Platform to generate sophisticated solutions to combat our biggest challenges—solutions needed to power the new recovery.

We Have A New Problem

We emphasize “new” because this crisis is not like the ones of our past. Rather than a debt crisis due to the bursting of the housing bubble that triggered our last recession, Americans now face a crisis of revenue due to a global pandemic. Unemployment is now nearing the all-time highs of the Great Depression, and it could very well surpass it. America needs to get back to work, but more importantly, we need to do it safely. While doing too-much-too-soon could make us worse off, new solutions will make this recovery faster, stronger, and more inclusive than our last.

Data Visualization & Mapping Technology Will Play A Vital Role

During the webinar, LGND’s CTO Ryan McCahan visualized Google’s location dataset from their Community Mobility Reports, which highlights the percent change in visits to places like grocery stores and parks from a calculated baseline in early 2020. We encourage you to watch Ryan’s full highlights and stay tuned for more from the Analytics team. Information like this is extremely helpful as governments and businesses attempt to navigate the pandemic and better understand how it may be impacting communities in unique ways.

Together, We’ll Map The New Recovery

Below we’ve compiled a few solutions that aim to provide Americans the confidence needed to bet on a more prosperous future. Specifically, these solutions leverage the power of data visualization and mapping technology to generate insights and guide decisions.

In the coming months, we aim to partner with organizations that have unique solutions and are working to build a better tomorrow.

Problem: Safety

Solution: Tracking and tracing of the virus, and real-time mapping of medical capacity to respond quickly and confidently

Our initial crisis response was guided more by anxiety and fear than robust testing and tracing capabilities to track the virus’ spread. States and local governments are still ramping up their technology systems and preparing for a possible virus resurgence upon opening. Every municipality, as well as each hospital and associated health company, needs to know their medical capacity before a situation like this occurs again. Data on hospital beds, ventilators, staff, and patients should be real-time indicators, and the data to track and trace the virus should guide coordinated resourcing decisions across the country.

Problem: Economic Growth

Solution: Creating a national infrastructure database to analyze investment types to unlock our biggest productivity boost

It’s not just our roads and bridges that need repair—we need to invest in our waterways, energy grids, and the technological networks that connect our businesses and schools, ensuring that no one is left behind. Infrastructure jobs will translate to advanced skills, and the productivity boost will make our communities stronger and support our recovery for years to come. We need a national database of existing infrastructure assets by type, material, age, and use. Analysis should show where new investment is needed most, measured by public demand, such as the lack of rural broadband for schools, and aging water systems in high-density neighborhoods.

Problem: Jobs

Solution: Measuring change in business activity and rising unemployment to supercharge location-specific business formation and job creation

Many businesses have or will shut down, and those that survive are making significant cuts. With record unemployment, it’s time for a nation-wide startup program. Research shows that new businesses provide new jobs. Therefore, we need to ensure those willing to start and grow a business can. Businesses should work with state and local governments to implement a new-business-formation program that encourages entrepreneurs to grow in communities that have strong buyer demand and high worker supply. Incentives such as investment matching and reduced taxes should be offered on the basis of hiring long-term employees.

Watch Ryan’s full highlights