Author: Swetha Salian
Geovisualization Project Assignment @SA8905, Fall 2020
Introduction to Covid-19
Covid-19 is a topic at the top of many of our minds right now, and has been the subject of discussion all around the world. There are various sources of information out there, and as with most current issues, while sources of legitimate information exist, there is also a great deal of misinformation that may be disseminated. This has lead me to investigate the topic further, and to explore the patterns of the disease, in an effort to understand what has transpired in the past year and where we may be headed, as we enter into the second year of this pandemic.
Let’s begin with where it started, what the trajectory has looked like over the past year, and where it is currently as the year is coming to a close. Covid-19 is a disease caused by the new Coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The first report was of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019 and spread to all the continents except Antarctica, causing widespread infections and deaths. Investigations are ongoing, but as with other coronaviruses, it is believed to be spread by large respiratory droplets containing the virus through person-person contact. In January 2020, the total number of cases across the globe numbered 37,907 and within five months, by June 2020, the number rose to 10,182,385. We currently sit at over 6 million cases across 202 countries and territories, as of November 2020. The numbers still appear to be on a rise even with a number of countries taking various initiatives and measures in an effort to curb to spread of the disease. The data, however, shows that the death rate has been declining in the past few weeks, with a total of 1,439,784 deaths globally as of today. This is a ratio of approximately 2% of cumulative deaths to the total number of cases.
Using Tableau desktop 2019.2, I created a time lapse map of weekly reported COVID-19 cases from January 1 to November 15. Additionally, there is a graph displaying weekly reported deaths for the same date range as mentioned earlier.
Link to my Tableau Public map: https://public.tableau.com/profile/swetha8500#!/vizhome/Salian_Swetha_Geoviz/Dashboard1
I chose to acquire data from WHO (World Health Organization) because of the reputable research and their outreach globally. The global literature cited in the WHO COVID-19 database is updated daily from searches of bibliographic databases, hand searching, and the addition of other expert-referred scientific articles.
The data for this project is a .csv file that has a list of new & cumulative cases, new and cumulative deaths, sorted by country and reported date from January 1 through November 15. This list consists of data from 236 countries, territories and areas and a total of 72966 data entries for the year. For my analysis, I had a time lapse map of cases for the year, for which I used Cumulative_cases column. For the graphs representing weekly death count as well as top 10 countries by death count, I used New_deaths column.
Creating a Dashboard in Tableau Desktop
Tableau is a data visualization software which is fairly easy to use with minimum coding skills. It is also a great tool for importing large data and has the option for a variety of data to be imported as shown in the image below.
The .csv file imported opens up on the Data Source tab. There are options to open a New Worksheet and this is where we start creating all the visualizations separately and the last step would be to bring them all into a Dashboard tab.
In the side bar displayed on the left, there are Dimensions and Measures. Tableau is intelligent to generate longitude and latitude by country names. Rows and Columns are automatically filled in with coordinates when Country is added. In the Pages section, drag Date reported and this can be filtered by how you want to display the data, I chose weekly reported. In Marks section, drag and drop Category from Dimensions into Color and Cumulative Cases into Size and change the measure to sum.
By adding Date reported to Pages, it generates a Time Slider, which enables you to automatically play, choose a particular date and also set the speed setting to slow, medium or fast. The Category value generated a range for the number of cases reported weekly, which is what is shown as the changing colors on the map. Highlight country gives you an option to search for a particular country you want to view data for.
Create a new Dashboard and import the sheets that you have worked on and create a visual story. you have the option to add text, borders, background color, etc. to enhance the data.
As shown below, this is the static representation of the dashboard, which displays the weekly reported cases on the map and weekly reported deaths on the graph.
To publish to an online public portal follow the steps as shown below.
As I was collecting data from the World Health Organization, I realized I couldn’t find comprehensive data on age groups and gender for cases or deaths. However, with the data I had, I was able to find a narrative for my story.
I had a hiccup while I was trying to publish to Tableau public from desktop. After creating an account online, I was getting an error on the desktop as shown below.
The solution to this is to go to the Data menu, scroll down to your data source, .csv files name in my case, and select Use Extract. Extracts are saved subsets of data that you can use to improve performance or to take advantage of Tableau functionality not available or supported in your original data. When you create an extract of your data, you can reduce the total amount of data by using filters and configuring other limits