RAMP VIS: Making Visual Analytics an Integral Part of the Technological Infrastructure for Combating COVID-19 - (01/2021 - 12/2021, EPSRC)
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated significant interest in data visualization, demonstrated from the media’s, and governmental and research organizations’ use of visualizations to inform the public. Within these theme, we are working on the EPSRC funded project (EP/V054236/1) RAMP VIS: Making Visual Analytics an Integral Part of the Technological Infrastructure for Combating COVID-19 (01/2020 - 12/2020).
This work is continuation of our volunteering work in the Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic (RAMP) initiative. Bangor VIS experts, along with some twenty VIS scientists, researchers, and developers in the UK answered a call in May 2020 for VIS volunteers to support modelling scientists and epidemiologists in the Scottish COVID-19 Response Consortium (SCRC), which is one of the three consortia in the Royal Society’s RAMP) programme.
The Bangor team is involved in efforts of public engagement through visualisation, and creating interfaces suitable for informing the public of the outputs of the modelling stages, as well as more general data-driven guidance on COVID-19.
M. Chen et al., “RAMPVIS: Towards a New Methodology for Developing Visualisation Capabilities for Large-scale Emergency Responses.” 2020.
The effort for combating the COVID-19 pandemic around the world has resulted in a huge amount of data, e.g., from testing, contact tracing, modelling, treatment, vaccine trials, and more. In addition to numerous challenges in epidemiology, healthcare, biosciences, and social sciences, there has been an urgent need to develop and provide visualisation and visual analytics (VIS) capacities to support emergency responses under difficult operational conditions. In this paper, we report the experience of a group of VIS volunteers who have been working in a large research and development consortium and providing VIS support to various observational, analytical, model-developmental and disseminative tasks. In particular, we describe our approaches to the challenges that we have encountered in requirements analysis, data acquisition, visual design, software design, system development, team organisation, and resource planning. By reflecting on our experience, we propose a set of recommendations as the first step towards a methodology for developing and providing rapid VIS capacities to support emergency responses.