Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Animated Coronavirus Timeline Maps

Animated maps showing the spread of an epidemic over time can help us to learn more about how a virus is transmitted and how it spreads. For example HealthMap's Novel Coronavirus Covid-19 interactive map shows how Covid-19 quickly spread from Wuhan to the rest of China, through Asia and out to the rest of the world.

The map shows the number of reported Covid-19 cases in locations around the world. If you press the 'Animate Spread' button at the top-left of the map you can watch a day-by-day animation of the data showing how the disease spread around the globe in just a few weeks.

NBC New York's Covid-19 map actually works better as an animated map. This map uses Johns Hopkins data to visualize the spread of Covid-19 over time. The NBC map includes a timeline control which allows you to more easily explore the data by specific date.

Going forward it might be interesting to add more information to these animated maps to more clearly identify and indicate the first cases reported in different locations and to identify significant clusters. For example the Seattle nursing home which saw the first significant fatalities in the USA and the Grand Princess and the Diamond Princess cruise ships which both saw significant numbers of passengers catching Covid-19.

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