Covid Spreading Rates

Country/area: Netherlands

Organisation: TULP interactive / self initiated personal project

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 14 Sep 2020

Credit: Jan Willem Tulp

Project description:

Covid Spreading Rates is a self initiated project with the goal of “humanizing” big numbers and get a better “feel” for how fast Covid-19 is spreading in every country. Typically newly reported cases are reported on a daily basis, but this project turns these daily numbers into a “real-time” simulation. This way you get a sense of how fast Covid-19 is spreading now, rather than as a summary statistic at the end of the day. The experience is enhanced by a notification every time someone is reported, and as an additional experiential element sound has been added so that you

Impact reached:

I am not aware of any concrete examples of the impact, other than the fact that it was picked up by media such as FastCompany, GIJN and NYPost, and a lot of postitive feedback on social media and email, mostly about how it offers an impactful alternative view on these numbers. The site has been visited 70.000+ times by now.

Techniques/technologies used:

Web technology (HTML/JS/CSS) and D3.js. The visualizations automatically updates with the latest data from Our World In Data.

What was the hardest part of this project?

I don’t think this project has specific hard parts in terms of effort. What I do think makes this project unique, especially at the time of publication, that there were — as far as I know — not similar projects that turned Covid-19 daily reported cases into a “real-time” simulation in order to get a more intuitive feel for the spreading rates.

What can others learn from this project?

I think that if you can turn numbers as much as possible into an experience, in this case a “real-time” simulation, then you can have a much bigger impact than just presenting abstract statistics. This way it becomes much more relatable: people can easily imagine 1 person being infected (your grandmother, your sister, etc.) than “412 newly reported cases today”. I do think that it will require some effort to come up with proper concepts to present data in a relatable and human (experience) way because statistics are usually not shared and presented in this way. But it’s worth the effort of you want to make an impact.

Project links: