Data and software
Esri UK created these social distancing maps using ArcGIS Pro 2.5, multiple geoprocessing tools and the MasterMap Topography Layer® from the Ordnance Survey (OS).
Beaches are always a hot-spot for tourists during a heatwave. Normally, this boom in tourism is a welcome income for coastal towns. 2020 however, has been anything but normal. As lockdown restrictions eased, millions set their sights upon the beautiful beaches near (or not so near) them. With social distancing laws enforced, tourists were required to stay at least 2m away from anyone not in their household bubble. Using spatial analysis, we wanted to see how many people could actually fit on some of these beaches.
This concept really spotlights the potential of using GIS amid a pandemic, because it shows an alternative way that mapping can be used to answer spatial questions surrounding COVID-19. While our analysis was hypothetical, it helped answer the issues of overcrowded beaches and how many people could safely fit on a beach. The analysis was then used by local councils as rough guidance to restrict tourist numbers in densely packed areas.
Capacity at 2m social distancing
Beach area (m2)
Perranporth, Cornwall, England
Bournemouth, Dorset, England
Brighton, East Sussex, England
Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland
Whitley Bay, Newcastle, England
Newquay, Cornwall, England
Weymouth, Dorset, England
Barafundle, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Durdle Door, Dorset, England
Max Tindal is on the Graduate Programme and has enjoyed experiencing the variety of departments at Esri UK. He enjoys the creativity of map design, as well as their ability to fuel mountain walking and orienteering trips.