A significant number of papers focusing on the relationships between COVID-19 diffusion and geographic factors is available in literature. The same applies to the use of geographic techniques (e.g., spatial tools and mapping) for the study of the pandemic. Although the literature on these topics is already abundant, a detailed and comprehensive review is still lacking. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to fill the existing gap by presenting a literature review of geographical studies dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The review is aimed at: i) understanding the role of geographic/territorial determinants (e.g., geographic location of confirmed cases, climatic and environmental characteristics, urbanization) in the spread of COVID-19; ii) identifying common approaches, materials, and methods used in the study of the COVID-19 outbreak from a geographical perspective; iii) recognising possible research gaps to address future in-depth analyses. To achieve these goals a literature review was made concerning the application of geographical approaches for the study of one or more geographical factors/variables, as well as socioeconomic factors in relation to the outbreak and diffusion of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main academic literature databases were inquired. More than 80 papers were reviewed and categorized according to different criteria, e.g., considered variables, investigated period, spatial and temporal resolution and applied methodologies. This research is part of an interdisciplinary project (“DISCOV19”) funded by the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and aiming at identifying the main vulnerability and risk factors related to COVID-19 outbreak and at formulating prevention and management schemes with a focus on the Province of Modena (Northern Italy). The investigation crosses different disciplines: i) public health epidemiology, investigating the contagion modalities and health and socio-demographic predisposing factors; ii) economic-statistical methodology, pointing out the structural characteristics of the networks that convey the contagion and the main social, technological and management vulnerabilities with respect to COVID-19 spread; iii) geography and geomorphology, for thematic mapping and spatial analysis of COVID-19 outbreak and understanding the role of environmental and physical-geographical factors on COVID-19 incidence. The review here presented fits into this context being one of the first outputs of the project implementation.
The influence of geographical factors on COVID-19 outbreak: A literature review / Coratza, Paola; Ghinoi, Alessandro; Palandri, Lucia; Righi, Elena; Rizzi, Cristiana; Soldati, Mauro; Vandelli, Vittoria. - (2023). (Intervento presentato al convegno EGU - General Assembly tenutosi a Vienna, Austria nel 23–28 April 2023) [10.5194/egusphere-egu23-8235].