What’s in a Map? Articles and Resources Related to Coronavirus Mapping (COVID-19)

Reliable Maps for Coronavirus

A trusted compilation of Coronovirus dashboards (Esri)

(A collection of trusted maps)

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center

(An interactive dashboard. This is the most popular Coronavirus map.)

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

(Static maps that are updated regularly)

Articles Related to Coronavirus Mapping

Mapping Coronavirus, Responsibly (Esri)

Kenneth Field (Esri), the author of Cartography, gives advice on mapping the Coronavirus responsibly. He discusses the choice of an appropriate map projection; preferred use of rates rather than absolute counts; selection of appropriate colors; the advantages of graduated and proportional symbols; and the need to avoid heat maps and 3D maps. The post gives examples of good and bad map design.

Be careful what you’re learning from those coronavirus maps (Washington Post)

Jordan Branch (Brown University) suggests using caution when reading Coronavirus maps. He notes the importance of color choice, stating that shades of red or orange are “ … associated with danger in many cultures. This encourages fear even as most official statements are urging calm.” He also observes that people may misread proportional circles, thinking they represent the areal coverage of the virus, rather than the number of cases. Finally, he warns the user to consider the source of information, as governments and international organizations may be biased.

Coronavirus Downloadable Malware Map App Clarification (Esri)

This article by Michael Young (Esri) describes a malicious application that looks like the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center map, but which downloads and deploys the AZORult malware. The malware will steal your credentials and payment card information. Please read and only use trusted sources.

Local Coronavirus Confusion Cleared Up By Johns Hopkins (KJRH)

This article describes how a mapping decision lead to the display of 36 coronavirus cases in Kansas, scaring residents in Coffeyville and Dearing. The incidents from the Diamond Princess Cruise were mapped to central Kansas, an arbitrary point in the center of the United States. This choice shows the potential danger of mapping an area to a point. Map readers may be misinterpret the map, thinking that the data actually occurs at the point.

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