COVID-19 Mortality Map Banner Image

We are excited to announce the partnership between makepath, Safegraph and the The Center for Environmental Medicine and Informatics (CEMI) at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) to study the impact of pollution on COVID-19 mortality.

We are starting with a study published by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that linked air pollution to higher COVID-19 death rates.

We are building on this study by taking the data from R and converting it into Python. 

The teams are then collaborating to add social distancing data from Safegraph to act as an additional control to augment the existing controls of smoking and body mass index (BMI). The goal is to deepen the understanding of how pollution affects COVID-19 outcomes.

We will be also studying additional factors such as race/ethnicity, income and pre-existing chronic health conditions. 

The augmented analysis will help policymakers make better informed decisions as to how to allocate resources to help prevent deaths from the virus.

The team from CEMI-ESF is led by Professor Mary Collins. Mary and her team are experts on using big data to understand how societies interact with the environment. She is particularly interested in equity and justice issues in the context of human health.

We are grateful for the deep expertise in statistical analysis that Mary and her team bring to the project.

The team at makepath will lend its expertise in data visualization and analysis scaling to the project.

We are also expanding our open source spatial analysis library Xarray-Spatial to include analysis tools pertinent to health demographics including hotspot analysis and common choropleth map classifications (quantile, equal-interval, natural breaks).

We look forward to sharing the results of this collaboration as soon as they are available.

For more information about this and other makepath projects, please email us at