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The engineer who used Maps to assist throughout a masks scarcity

Because of a publicly accessible Google Maps API, we labored within the shops’ data into the map: its location, opening hours and speak to information. Within the first three months of its use, this map obtained 20 million views.

The map caught the attention of the Taiwan authorities’s digital minister, who then met with Taiwan’s premier to debate how the federal government may make use of the map and make it much more useful. In a reasonably unprecedented tech collaboration between civil society and authorities, the federal government granted permission to publicize their Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage system’s database so the reside stock of all pharmacy merchandise, up to date in actual time, may very well be used within the map. Earlier than that partnership, the entire data across the masks availability was crowdsourced. With the info they supplied, we had been capable of hold the data round pharmacy inventory much more correct, up to date in actual time.

For the reason that success of the masks map, I’ve seen Taiwan making strides to proceed utilizing digital instruments to assist its residents thrive, whether or not it’s combating disinformation or constructing assistive gadgets for the listening to impaired. I’m proud to have helped ignite one of many first cases of innovation between the tech neighborhood and the federal government, and I’m excited to see extra of those joint efforts to come back.

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