Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Coronavirus - Spinning Out of Control

It isn't often that you get to see a new method of visualizing data. Which is probably why I like Benjamin Schmidt's Spinning Out of Control so much. 

Benjamin's new interactive map uses data from the New York Times to show the rate of Coronavirus in U.S. counties over time. The map is not by any stretch of the imagination the first map to show the growth of Coronavirus in the United States during the course of this year. However it is the first map I have seen which rotates geographical areas to visualize rates of infection over time. 

Individual counties on the Spinnig Out of Control interactive map are rotated over time to show the rate of change in the number of Coronavirus cases over the previous two weeks. The size of the counties shows whether the number of cases has increased or decreased. The effect of this rotation helps to identify areas in the country where there has been a sudden change in the rate of infection. The size of the counties identifies whether these changes have been increases or decreases in the number of cases.

Rotating the counties and adjusting their size is an interesting way to visualize the rate of Coronavirus infections over time. The animated effect also helps to emphasize the fact that the virus is a living entity which is spreading across the country. The movement on the map really creates an organic effect. Hopefully it will encourage more people to practice social distancing and to wear masks.

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