Notable maps visualizing COVID-19 and surrounding impacts: Exploring many views on one pandemic

Megan Danielson
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Mar 12, 2020

Notable maps visualizing COVID-19 and surrounding impacts: Exploring many views on one pandemic

Megan Danielson

Guest

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Guest

Mar 12, 2020

We’re updating this post as new maps emerge. Last update on February 5, 2021.

You’ve no doubt seen many COVID-19 charts, maps, and data visualizations shared across media outlets over the past few weeks. These maps can be powerful tools for understanding information and making data-driven decisions. However, the fidelity of these visualizations is limited by the underlying data — which varies by source, region, and resolution — and that data’s ability to shed light on a specific facet of the epidemic.

The fact is, there’s no one-true data source and no one-true way to visualize the data.

We’ve been working closely with researchers and public officials to explore and support using different data to help understand multiple aspects of this outbreak. The maps below represent some of the varying approaches and possibilities of using data to gain insight into the spread of and response to COVID-19.

NextStrain

NextStrain builds tools to visualize the evolution and spread of the virus in real-time specifically for virologists, epidemiologists, public health officials, and community scientists.

Infodemics Observatory

Infodemics Observatory is visualizing the digital conversation and information spread around the COVID-19 outbreak. Using machine learning techniques, it analyzes over 100 million public messages to understand dimensions of collective sentiment and psychology, news reliability, and the extent to which social bots are influencing discourse with unreliable news.

Datawrapper

Datawrapper is leading by example in the data visualization community, creating more than 20 publicly available charts, maps, and tables that show the latest numbers on the Coronavirus in a responsible and informative way.

The New York Times

Live-updating as new data becomes available, the New York Time’s map of coronavirus cases in the U.S. is now interactive, visualizing the number of cases per county using scaled circles and a per capita choropleth. The data, sourced from state and local health agencies and hospitals, is available for download from The New York Times on GitHub.


USA Today

Many visualizations, including USA Today’s COVID-19 tracker, use data resources collected by Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to track the spread of the disease in the US and worldwide. The JHU data is curated from a collection of official reports posted by the WHO, the CDC, ECDC, NHC, and DYX. The map visualizes the cumulative spread of the virus at varying geographic resolutions and is often accompanied by supporting information on COVID-19 case status including the number of new cases, number of recovered, and number of deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control

The CDC’s interactive COVID-19 travel risk map provides an interactive map with up-to-date country boundaries, provided by Mapbox Boundaries.

COVID-19 Data Resource Hub

The Tableau Foundation, in partnership with Mapbox, has made it easy to integrate additional data with the case reporting data from Johns Hopkins University in order to help organizations contextualize the spread of the disease.

HealthMap/Boston Children’s Hospital

HealthMap collects publicly available information on confirmed cases during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This data is granular and includes contextual information that may be useful to researchers such as age, sex, geographic information, history and time of travel where available. Data is available here. We are currently working with HealthMap to redesign this visualization in order to enhance users' ability to gain insights from their data.

HealthMaps other visualization offers high-frequency updates derived from the news articles and official reports. The research team uses web scrapers/crawlers to target publicly available articles and reports that contain infectious disease keywords. The system is fine-tuned based on a weighing of sensitivity vs specificity, which is set at the infrastructure level (rather than for each alert or data feed, etc). Once ingested, the data undergoes a process of automated classification using NLP/ML algorithms, which assigns disease, location, species, case count, and “place category” tags.

EpiRisk

EpiRisk is unique in that it allows for a quick estimate of the probability of exporting infected individuals from sites affected by a disease outbreak to other areas in the world.

COVID Care Map

The COVID Care Map is an open-source project aimed at providing information on the current US healthcare system’s capacity to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. The map allows users to view important healthcare information including hospital/healthcare facility locations, number of hospital beds per facility, number of ICU beds, and occupancy rates. You can search for specific facilities or examine the data aggregated by county or state boundaries.

This resource is being developed entirely by volunteers. You can contribute to this project head here.

Kinsa Health

Kinsa produces smart, connected thermometers that can help track fever levels across the country. Fevers are just one of the symptoms attributed to COVID-19, and this information could act as an early indicator of a new outbreak or to help measure the effects of social distancing measures. Kinsa visualizes their nationwide fever data on their US Health Weather Map.

Urban Footprint

Where caseloads are rising rapidly, overflow care locations may be needed. UrbanFootprint is working with public agencies and hospitals to help answer critical questions like where to place alternate care sites to expand bed capacity. Their case study of Los Angeles illustrates how data and mapping can provide a useful starting point in building a list of potential choices. The UrbanFootprint team is also tracking and updating COVID-19 data from trusted medical, media, and public sources.

The New York Times

The NYT’s visualization depicts the potential spread of COVID-19, by state, under three different response scenarios — no control measures, some control measures, and severe control measures.

Nikkei Asian Review

Using data reported by the WHO and China’s National Health Commission, Nikkei Asian Review created a visualization that allows users to explore the scale of the outbreak in China at the provincial level, over time.

San Francisco Chronicle

Visualizing confirmed cases of COVID-19 by county for all of California, the SF Chronicle provides a highly localized view for one state. The map is updated daily with data pulled directly from the reports by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, and county public health departments.

Mapbox Traffic Data

As the outbreak continues to spread, more cities have been adopting policies, such as ‘shelter-in-place’, which restrict the movement of citizens in an attempt to help flatten the curve. The Mapbox telemetry team is sharing data to help visualize how these policies have impacted local travel patterns in major cities over the last few weeks. Learn more about the data here.

Mask Guide 口罩指南 by Che-Lin Chan and Chi-Yung Yang

Mask guide is an application that helps individuals in Taiwan locate stores that are selling face masks. (Note:The WHO and the CDC now recommend using non-medical face coverings when out in public. Medical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and those caring for an individual with suspected COVID-19 infection. WHO guidelines for masks.)

Japan COVID-19 Tracker

The Japan COVID-19 tracker pulls in data from the Japanese Ministry of Health. The solution helps Japanese residents understand the current conditions of the outbreak and allows users to directly download their source data.

UCSF Health Atlas

Epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists are racing to analyze and communicate how the virus is spreading. The UCSF Health Atlas, built by the UCSF School of Medicine and Stamen Design, has added a Data Story to trace the path of COVID-19 in California and place the case data in context.

National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine

The Main Situation Center of Ukraine, part of the National Security and Defense Council, launched a dashboard to track the virus’ spread nationally and globally. To better update the nation on the potential reach of this pandemic, the dashboard also includes the number of suspected infections in Ukraine alongside confirmed cases.

ShareCare

A fresh approach to map design helps a site stand out. For their COVID19 landing page, ShareCare uses a unique color palette, custom clusters, Mapbox Boundaries, and user-friendly data toggles to help readers re-engage with global COVID-19 case data.

GEOCOVID-19 Brazil

As the pandemic intensifies in more countries, governments and volunteers are building custom tracking dashboards for their own nations — such as Geodatin’s dashboard for Brazil.

Health Intervention Tracking for COVID-19

A living global data of public health policy interventions, the HIT-COVID site is collecting data on governments’ implementation of a variety of public health interventions — from school closures to requiring face masks to enforced home isolation.



Teralytics

Restricting mobility is a primary method being used to slow down the spread of COVID19. Teralytics has partnered with governments and newspapers to model and monitor the importance of staying home.

Outbreaks Near Me

Maps of self-reported symptoms provide a birds-eye view of trends in how people are feeling. Open-source, not-for-profit app Outbreaks Near Me by the Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School asks people to publicly report their household health status to help spot potential infection ‘hot spots’ as they emerge.

Urban Institute

Breaking down unemployment numbers by industry down to the census-tract level, Urban Institute’s weekly updates on Where Low-Income Jobs Are Being Lost to COVID-19 provides a striking view of the economic hardship felt across the United States.

World Food Program

The WFP School Meals Programme delivers daily meals to over 16 million kids in more than 60 countries. Their school feeding map tracks the impact of school closures on their ability to serve schoolchildren as well as ways that the agency is responding.

Sidewalk Widths NYC

Social distancing might be easier said than done in some places when you consider the physical space available. A map visualizing sidewalk widths in New York City makes the case for more space for pedestrians in urban environments.

¿CUÁNTO ES 1KM?

Households are operating on a completely different scale during shutdowns. Geomatico created a site to visualize a 1km radius that families in Spain are now allowed to walk around their home so children can exercise.

FilaIndiana / Single File

To help reduce the risk of having to stand in long lines at supermarkets across Italy, volunteer effort FilaIndiana (Single File) created a web app to crowdsource reports on queues across the country.

TP Finder

tpfinder.co is an elegantly designed example of the supply locator maps that are emerging to help people around the world navigate a new landscape of shortages and store closures.

Corona Shutdown

Built by students at NYU and Carnegie Mellon University, this site includes a set of interactive choropleth maps of cumulative cases, per square mile, and per 10,000 people.

Facebook Data for Good Mobility Dashboard

Built by the Covid-19 Mobility Data Network, this dashboard uses aggregated population movement data from Facebook to display the rates of mobility and ‘staying put’ in US states.

SafeGraph

The Shelter in Place Index dashboard visualizes daily, county-level data on “stay at home” behavior, quantified as the percent of people staying home all day.

MyChildCare.ca.gov

Built by OpenLattice for the government of California, this tool helps families find licensed childcare providers that are currently open near them.

US Covid Atlas

The US Covid Atlas, led by the Center for Spatial Data Science at the University of Chicago, aggregates county and state level data on COVID cases, deaths, testing, vaccination, and more. The US Covid Atlas provides multiple map modes, including natural breaks choropleth, box maps, and hotspot analysis using spatial autocorrelation (LISA) and 2D, 3D, and cartogram visualization modes. Additional data layers include social determinants of health like uninsured rates, life expectancy, and percentage of population over 65 years of age. COVID data is updated daily from sources including the New York Times, USA Facts, 1point3acres, the Yu Group at UC Berkeley, and the CDC. Users may access data directly via the project's API, and map sharing features enable the creation of custom links to bookmark locations and map variables.

We’ll continue adding to this post as new visualizations and perspectives emerge. If you see more notable examples, share them with us on twitter by tagging @mapbox.

Explore more featured COVID-19 related maps and response efforts.

The Mapbox Community team (as well as many other people across Mapbox) is working closely with many organizations to support data visualization and public health projects. If you are working on a new mapping or data project that needs support, reach out to our team.

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