Around the world, people have been pooling skills, talents, and resources in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Factories have been re-purposed and product output temporarily altered. Even entertainers have taken time to keep entertaining with live-streamed living-room concerts and online parties.
Roshaun ‘Bay-C’ Clarke, former member of dancehall group T.O.K., is one of those entertainers. But he is also the chief executive officer of Spatial Innovision, a geographical information systems (GIS) provider that has been freely offering its services to governmental agencies across the region for the past two weeks. The offer will extend into the next six months.
“We have tailored a support offering for, basically, the world. If you look at how people have been tracking COVID-19 right now, a lot of it is through Johns Hopkins University’s dashboard. That is the most reliable, checked source. The map that they show on the dashboard is powered by our partners, Esri,” Bay-C told The Sunday Gleaner.
Esri is a company at the forefront of GIS, designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage, and present all types of spatial or geographical data. According to Bay-C, Esri’s software is capable of mapping COVID-19 cases and contact tracing. The software’s measures can produce maps, charts, and graphs to assist experts in understanding the effects of the pandemic on businesses and analysis on work-from-home management.
“All those solutions are streamlined to the Caribbean through Spatial Innovision, the vision of being innovative,” Bay-C explained.
“Anything that you want to put in, be it addresses of related communities, the economic impact of it all, to be able to monitor the cases or the first-responders … . Whatever you choose to put into that platform, it can crunch up reports, maps, graphs, all that kind of stuff, in real time,” he continued.
For the past two weeks, Spatial Innovision has been assisting agencies across the region to set up with Esri software. “I’ve been very busy with the different agencies in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and all over. All the ministries and other agencies within the Caribbean that may need quick visualisation of data and operations, we have been providing that free of cost.”
Spatial Innovision is in an advantageous position as a niche in demand, but Bay-C recognises that what is necessary for the region goes beyond business. “Sometimes, you have a social responsibility. With this software, it was just to map things. But this is way beyond that. This is actually allowing organisations to be way more efficient and decisive. And the most important thing right now is timeliness, to be as quick as possible. GIS helps them to be as responsive as possible,” Bay-C said.
He continued: “I’m just happy to be a part of the equation, to help the agencies and first-responders do their job. It’s all of us who need to work together to fight this thing. It’s amazing that the software comes in so useful now. And having these high-level conversations with ministers, I give thanks.”
As he supports the region with GIS-based solutions, Bay-C is still all about entertainment. Today, Bay-C will host his first online party via Instagram Live, starting at 2 p.m. “It’s just an hour of entertainment and interaction at 2 p.m.,” he said.
Bay-C is hosting the party because he believes that the policy of social distancing has created an opportunity for social media interaction and entertainment. “It actually is a valuable thing coming out of it, where we have a much deeper connection with our friends and families and supporters around the world. People want to know what’s happening with their favourite artistes, celebrities, or public figures,” he said.
In addition to premièring new music, Bay-C will have performance-segments giveaways and call-ins from other celebrities. He also hopes that his party will up the intrigue with international callers. “It would be interesting if people call in from other countries to share what their perspective is,” he added.