About COVID Help Map

This web site is designed to help connect people needing help with nearby people offering help. This is not a map of sick people; it's a map of help (both needed and offered) related in some way to the pandemic crisis. The idea is simple: pins on a map, showing who needs / is offering specific kinds of help, with contact info. If you need help, find people offering that help near you and reach out to them, or let them reach out to you. And vice-versa.

If you need help with the site, find a bug or other issue, have a suggestion, or want to help me out, you can reach out to me on Twitter.

Privacy: Yes, the concept of this site requires that you to broadcast your "location", "name", and "personal contact info" to the world, in a way that links all of those things together. Crazy, right? But it's not as bad as it sounds. (And there are very specific reasons it's set up this way (see explanation below). There are specific things we do to protect your privacy, and there are specific steps you should take as well. Together, we can make this system work.

See our full privacy policy

Why is it set up this way, with all this info out there in public? Because collecting and protecting private personal contact info, and keeping it secure, is a huge and difficult responsibility. Developing that functionality would take more time, and this project is optimized to be launched as quickly as possible (one week), to help as many people as possible during this unqiue and fast-growing crisis. Crucially, collecting and protecting private personal contact info requires not only much more development, but a great deal more testing as well. It can't be rushed. If you rush it, something is missed, a breach occurs, and trust is betrayed. Had I insisted on collecting private info and keeping it secure to my standards, this project could not have been launched until the COVID-19 pandemic was but a distant memory.

FAQ

The pin I created isn't at quite the correct location. That's intentional. If you indicated when you submitted your pin that you are an individual, the site took extra steps to protect your privacy. That includes: 1. A slight randomization of your coordinates, to mask your exact location. (Up to about 1 city block away.) The purpose of this site is only to show who is nearby, not pinpoint people exactly. 2. The site discarded your street address info; it is neither stored nor displayed. Please note that these measures do not apply to organizations. It is assumed that organizations will want to publish their exact location and street address so people can easily find them for drop-offs, etc.

Why can't I edit my pin? That feature is coming very soon. In a normal project, that would have been a requirement for version 1.0. But I wanted to get this out ASAP to help as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. This feature was one of the major compromises to make that happen. In the meantime, you can delete a pin and simply create a new one in the same spot, with updated info. But soon, we'll have a full and proper "Edit Pin" capability.

Known Issues:

  1. After searching on an address, the red search-result pin doesn't always go away when it should.

More To-Do:

  1. Localization for non-English countries.
  2. Ability to link directly to specific pins with a share-able URL.
  3. Designating one contact as "primary" for an organization.

Donations: This site is built, run, and paid for by one guy in New York. If you'd like to chip in with the hosting costs, I'd be most grateful!

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