COVID-19 DataViz

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"Cattening the Curve" from Twitter user and epidemiologist @amdar1ing

News outlets and sources are making noble efforts to provide comprehensive, responsible coverage right now, but the volume and density of information can come across to the audience as beyond absorption. We've selected a range of projects that have grabbed our attention - some better, some worse, many alarming. Our top tip for protective web browsing behavior for this moment: Avoid websites with uninterpreted data and excessive use of red. You deserve better.


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Jannine's pick Covid-19 video update using Augmented Reality by u/infinitemoment22

PROS 3D viz provides more complex view of data | interactivity for users | if only the virus was contained to one San Mateo garage

CONS yellow-to-red spectrum, alarmist and overused | sketchy, early draft feeling

Responsible DataViz Rating 3.75 / 5


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Jazzy's pick COVID-19 Tracker from bing.com

PROS simple and focused | “last updated” ticker available but not prominent | data subsets (by country/state) linked to regionally relevant articles

CONS use of red 🙄 | data sources listed but not prominent | US-centric design in sources, news links, and language options (English only)

Responsible DataViz Rating 3 / 5


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Joel's pick Why Soap Works by Ferris Jabr, New York Times

PROS short and sweet | a molecular diagram so simple and clear, a child could redraw it | bacteria as the antihero

CONS so this is why my hands are chapped? | high school science class flashbacks

Responsible DataViz Rating 5 / 5


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Joshua's pick Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve” by Harry Stevens, Washington Post

PROS simple, logical narrative | clear explanations and comparisons | reassuring | no use of red!

CONS not a quick skim

Responsible DataViz Rating 5 / 5

Joshua also recommends: Flowing Data


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Yana's pick Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University

PROS “total recovered” | desktop and mobile versions | the Situation Room vibe

CONS the brightest red they could find 😤 | no comparable map of recovered cases | data only available by country outside of China, US | little/no interpretation of the data

Responsible DataViz Rating 2.3 / 5

Yana also recommends: playing Pandemic and listening to scientists


Do you have a trove of data that is crying out for interpretation as a map, chart, infographic, or timeline? Give us a call - we'll be social from a distance.

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Yana Stannik is a technical illustrator at Fat Pencil Studio.