Saturday, December 26, 2020

The 2020 Map of the Year

In 2020 there was really only one serious contender for Map of the Year. 

At the beginning of January I was convinced that the U.S. Presidential election was going to dominate the news and consequently we were going to see thousands of election maps during the course of the year, climaxing with hundreds of election result maps in November. 

The U.S. election was indeed one of the major stories of 2020 and thousands of election maps were indeed created and released into the world. However the U.S. Presidential election wasn't the big story of 2020. In the third week of January I posted what was then called the Wuhan Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Global Cases Dashboard. A name which was later changed to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard

When I first published a link to the Johns Hopkins Covid-19 Dashboard in January the map was reporting only 555 cases of Covid-19 and 17 fatalities. However there was something about the virulence of the virus and the reaction of the Chinese government to the disease (they had just shut down public transport) which suggested that Covid-19 might just be more serious than other virus outbreaks.

By the third week of January all the deaths from Covid-19 had occurred in China but cases of the virus had already been reported in Japan and one confirmed case had been reported in the United States. Just one month later, on the 23rd February, the map was showing 2,462 deaths and 78,823 confirmed cases. These included 100 cases in Italy where two people had already died from the virus. 

Today, on the 26th December, as 2020 enters its final days, the map shows that there have been nearly 80 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 around the world and there have been 1,751,634 deaths, including 330,279 in the United States alone.

Simply by being the first to create a global map of the spread of reported cases of Covid-19 the Johns Hopkins dashboard has become for many one of the most accepted resources for tracking the global impact of Covid-19. It is certainly the interactive map which I have referred to most during 2020 and has to be (unfortunately) my 2020 Map of the Year.

My big hope is that during 2021 Covd-19 vaccinations will make the Covid-19 Dashboard redundant.

If you are interested in viewing more great maps and data visualizations created in 2020 then you should have a look at Maarten Lambrecht's List of 2020 Visualizations List. Maarten provides links to 2020 data visualization round-ups from lots of different sources. Including Cartonerd's Favourite Maps from 2020 and National Geographic's The Maps and Graphics of 2020's Events and Discoveries.

1 comment:

Stu Smith said...

Agreed! Thanks for all your mapping efforts this past year!