The integration of statistical and geospatial information: Ireland’s national COVID-19 response

Kevin McCormack (CSO) & Lorraine McNerney (OSi)

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) provide credible, reliable and independent geospatial and statistical data for evidence based-policy and strategic decision making under the National Data Infrastructure Programme and related Public Service Data Strategy 2019 – 2023 (
As part of the national COVID-19 response by the Irish Government, the CSO and OSi led the establishment of a national geospatial response group – the foundation for the COVID-19 response was our (OSi & CSO’s) decision to refocus our strategic approach to measuring monitoring and communicating the Irish SDG indicators. The group was formally established on 18th March 2020 to co-ordinate the technical, data, policy, and financial activities related to providing key data and tools, via GeoHive, to inform Ireland’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak under the Public Sector Data Strategy’s geospatial remit.
The agreed goals for this group were to:
1. Build a participation network that facilitates the “collect once, use many times” philosophy of the Public Services Data Strategy for geo-statistical data in the response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
2. Introduce geospatial and statistical data governance procedures that focus on reducing/removing data duplication.
3. Maximise the use of the State’s geospatial hub (GeoHive) through appropriate data collection and data visualisation.
Some of the planned next steps are to support key Government decision-makers to inform Ireland’s Roadmap for Reopening Business & Society and expand data and visualisation tools
Some of the key takeaways / lessons learnt so far are:
• Geo-statistical data and apps have played a key role in revealing insights, patterns and trends as part of the Ireland’s COVID-19 response.
• Geospatial and statistical data governance removed duplication and enabled sharing.