A global crisis calls out to every person to take initiative and help in any way possible. The ongoing pandemic has led to a lot of businesses keeping aside their regular functions and beginning work on products or services that benefit in the current outbreak situation.
MoveInSync is one such company that has developed a COVID-19 containment zone tracker which allows people to be aware of areas around them that are containment zones. The company is an employee transportation provider based in Bengaluru.
Express Computer gets in conversation with Videh Ranjan, Director of Product Management, MoveInSync who shares more details on the tracker and technologies involved in developing it.
Please elaborate on MoveInSync’s Covid containment zone tracker. What kind of information is it providing?
The Covid-19 containment zone tracker is a quick and easy way to find out if a particular locality, home or office, lies in a containment zone. The tracker constitutes a dashboard which shows areas on the map that are currently containment zones. This is based on data gathered from public bulletins, and information from municipal governments, which is updated every hour. We are also gathering and validating containment zone information from common citizens – thereby democratizing the information flow.
The tracker currently shows data for 15 cities including Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, NCR and Hyderabad, and we are working on adding more cities to the list. Once the city is selected, the total number of containment zones in the city is displayed. It also includes a list which shows all the areas within the city that are marked as containment zones. Tapping on one of the locality names will pull it up on the map, so one can have a better understanding of the area that is marked.
The tracker includes an option to map containment zones in multiple locations. This can be done by tapping on the “Check Multiple Locations” option and uploading CSV files with location coordinates. We have shared a sample file format so that the information can be accessed and undertaken easily.
How do you believe this information will help the public and authorities?
The declaration of an area as a containment zone indicates that an increased level of security needs to be implemented to reduce community transmission of the deadly virus. While the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) regularly provides its own classification of red, orange and green zones at the central level, there are further classifications at the state and city level as well. We have designed the containment zone tracker so that the most updated information converges at this one place so that people have easy access to reliable information.
At an individual level, understanding if they are within a containment zone will help individuals plan and prepare for situations in the coming days. They will be able to check if they or their friends/families are in containment zones and accordingly plan any important travel. At an organisational level, this will help companies keep track of the status of their employees. We have recently launched a free SaaS solution ‘ETS lite’ in which the containment zone tracker has been integrated so that employers/transport managers can further manage their employee commute more efficiently.
What technologies were involved in developing the tracker and acquiring data for it?
We are partnered with geoIQ, a geolocation data specialist who helps us maintain the containment zone boundary data on their proprietary platform. We have collaborated to validate and crowdsource the democratized data. MoveInSync leverages REST APIs to sync with the data and keep it updated every hour. We also leverage the Spring Thymeleaf to build dynamic HTML pages with dynamic OG tags. The map data is overlaid with the KMZ files to display the containment zone boundaries. For the tracker, we are leveraging Amazon Aurora Postgres SQL, Cloudwatch, Micrometer + Prometheus and Raygun Crash Monitoring to help us scale up. To provide perspective about the scale we are able to handle, with a p90 latency of 4ms, our peak load last week was over 12 million requests in a day.
Could you give us an insight into what statistics does the tracker project for this month?
Within the first 10 days of launch, we garnered over 6.5 million page views. Almost 95% of the traffic has come over the mobile devices. As India emerges from the lockdown and starts resuming normalcy, in order to ensure safety of all citizens, streamlined and comprehensive access to the geospatial data of the containment zone will be critical to plan movement within the city. Especially since the data is highly dynamic, depending on the cases identified, the situation will change regularly.
How does the Covid tracker ensure security and data privacy?
We are an ISO27001 certified organization and our enterprise-grade SaaS technology helps over 125 organizations, including Banking and Finance Sector, BPOs, and tech giants. Over 3 lakh employees avail rides on our platform daily, with over 8 million rides in a month. On the COVID tracker, we do not store any personal information provided by the user. For the subscription, we store anonymized geocode data on Google’s Firebase application.
What do you believe is the future of tracking devices after this pandemic?
The current crisis has resulted in heightened interest in harnessing location data, especially to track those who have been affected by the virus, study the efficacy of social distancing and to send alerts based on proximity to previously recorded cases. Numerous apps have sprung up that can help track the course of the pandemic. The reception of the same has been mixed, considering the privacy and security concerns attached to such magnified level of tracking. In the post-Covid world, the success of tracking devices will be determined by the level of security they are able to provide, in addition to the uniqueness of the offering.
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