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COVID-19 Information and Guidance

Glassell Map Project

The Baker Institute’s Glassell Map Project features rotating collections of digital maps that explore the spatial context and impact of public policy. Through data visualization, the project highlights current issues being addressed by the Baker Institute’s experts in their events and research. The interactive map gallery was created in consultation with the Center for Research Computing’s Spatial Studies Lab, led by Farès el-Dahdah, Baker Institute faculty scholar and professor of art history at Rice.

The project is generously supported by Mrs. Clare A. Glassell.



A Decade of Deporting Syrians

Kelsey Norman - Women's Rights, Human Rights & Refugees Program

In May 2011, Syrian families began to flee their homes and cross international borders for the first time, and in neighboring Turkey the government opened its first refugee camps. In the subsequent ten years, Syrian displacement has had major repercussion for politics in the Middle East region as well as further afield, with the 2015 European refugee “crisis” fueling the rise of far-right, xenophobic parties in Europe, the initial calls for Brexit, and support for former President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant stance. Countries across the world began looking for opportunities to repatriate Syrians, repeating the claims of President Bashar al-Assad which allege that Syria is safe for return, even as repatriated Syrians are jailed, tortured and disappeared. This project maps the forced return of Syrians globally between 2011 and 2021 to visualize trends in repatriation, contributing to our understanding of refugee protection, state responsibility, and the dangers of forcibly returning refugees before it is safe to do so.


3rd Ward Survey

Quianta Moore and Christopher Kulesza - Center for Health and Biosciences

This dashboard is the culmination of a 16-month-long survey of residents in Houston's Third Ward. The data aims to inform strategies and investments that support resident access to health care, transportation and other quality-of-life concerns while maintaining the community's character and affordability.


Harris County Drug Map

William Martin, Senior Fellow and Katharine Neill Harris, Alfred C. Glassell, III, Fellow, Drug Policy

This interactive map from Rice's Spatial Studies Lab visualizes data on fatal drug overdoses and drug possession charges for Harris County. Data are available from 2015 to the present and are provided in collaboration with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. The Brian C. Bennett Drug Charts are an interactive collection of charts that present findings from decades of data on drug use collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.


Harris County Childcare Centers During COVID-19

Quianta Moore, Fellow, Child Health Policy Center for Health and Biosciences and Christopher Kulesza, Research Analyst, Child Health Policy Center for Health and Biosciences

An examination of patterns of closing of childcare centers in Harris county during COVID-19, including explorations of neighborhood characteristics associated with closure.


Beirut Recovery Map Following the August 4th Explosion

In collaboration with the Beirut Urban Lab and Open Map Lebanon, Rice University’s Spatial Studies Lab produced an interactive map that displays the impact of the August 4th explosion on the city of Beirut. The map will track damage assessments as well as the recovery of damaged buildings.


COVID-19 Cases in Harris County by the Spatial Studies Lab at Rice University

The Spatial Studies Lab at Rice University maps Covid-19 cases across Harris County, and lists the number of hospitals and health care providers in the area. The data is regularly updated.


COVID-19 Cases in Texas by the Spatial Studies Lab at Rice University

This interactive map from the Spatial Studies Lab at Rice University tracks by county every confirmed coronavirus case in Texas and the state's current ICU occupancy rate.


Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

This interactive map from the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering tracks, in real time, the location of every confirmed coronavirus case in the world as well as how many people in each country have tested positive, recovered or died.


Islam and authority in the Middle East

Who speaks for Islam and who holds religious authority in the Middle East? A study from the Baker Institute Middle East Center aims to provide answers by identifying the channels of influence between religious leaders who claim to hold Islamic authority and individual Muslims across the region. This interactive map visualizes key results of the study, which was supported by the Henry R. Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Religion in International Affairs. To learn more about this project, visit


The China Energy Map

The China Energy Map, produced by the Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies, provides an interactive and comprehensive visualization of China’s key energy infrastructure. The map shows oil infrastructure layers, coal power plants, nuclear power plants and EV battery factories. To learn more about this project, visit



imagineRio is a searchable digital atlas that illustrates the social and urban evolution of Rio de Janeiro, as it existed and as it was imagined. Views, historical maps, and ground floor plans –from iconographic, cartographic, and architectural archives– are located in both time and space while their visual and spatial data are integrated across a number of databases and servers, including a public repository of images, a geographic information system, an open-source relational database, and a content delivery web system.


ESRI’s National Geographic map

ESRI’s National Geographic map is a multi-scale general reference map of the world. Click on a country to see basic information or zoom in to view cities, roads and waterways.

Map data by National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, HERE, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA and iPC.


Earth at night

NASA scientists have released new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest-yet views of the patterns of human settlements across our planet. Satellite images of Earth at night — often referred to as “night lights” — have been a curiosity for the public and a tool of fundamental research for at least 25 years. They provide a broad, beautiful picture, showing how humans have shaped the planet and lit up the darkness.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Román, NASA GSFC.



instituteRice is an online mapping platform that illustrates the evolution of the Rice University campus, as it existed as well as it has often been imagined. Primary sources from the Woodson Research Center (e.g., photographs, historical maps, campus plans) are located temporally and spatially while their associated visual and geographic data is integrated across an open access digital library of images, a geographic information system, an open source relational database and a content delivery web service.


The conflict in Syria

Using open source data, the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, has curated an interactive map tracking the front lines of the conflict in Syria. Data from the Carter Center has been integrated and analyzed by Palantir.

Visit to see the latest research from the Baker Institute's Center for the Middle East.


The Geography of Jobs

The Geography of Jobs map is a dynamic visualization of job gains and losses over the last 15+ years for every metro area in the United States. The red and blue bubbles represent a rolling 12-month net change in total employment for each metro area. Simply press Play and watch the animation unfold.

Data from Current Employment Statistics at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and TIP Strategies. Visualization by Axis Maps.



Eshhad — the Arabic imperative for "witness" or "testify" — is a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that documents sectarianism against religious, cultural and ethnic minorities in the Middle East. Click on the map to view incidents since 2011.