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Open Data Access for Social Good - Responding to COVID-19 with Spatial Data Science

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Niki Kazahaya
SafeGraph, Community Manager

Niki Kazahaya is Community Manager of the SafeGraph Community, a group of 13k+ data scientists, researchers, and industry experts working with places data. Niki's work focuses heavily on the SafeGraph Data for Academics program, helping thousands of researchers get free access to POI and mobility data. He holds a degree in psychology and art from Wabash College.

Serina Chang
CS PhD Candidate, Stanford University
Sen Pei
Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases, Columbia University

COVID-19 turned life upside down for everyone - not just for large companies with the resources and talent to acquire and leverage data to respond to the crisis. Organizations ranging in size and industry suddenly found themselves needing a way to analyze what was happening around them with accuracy and precision. Recognizing this need, SafeGraph created a Data for Academics Program to provide open access to its points of interest (POI) and mobility data. The resulting community of over 7,000 spatial data scientists came together to solve pressing social issues, such as equitable access to healthcare, with open location data. In this discussion, we’ll walk through some of the spatial data science projects that were made possible by this open access, and discuss how open data access is shaping the future of data science for social good.