«Only if we end the pandemic everywhere can we end the pandemic anywhere.» This quote by Our World In Data’s Max Roser stuck with me ever since I first heard it. So with vaccinations now under way, I was looking for a way to visualise how we‘re doing…everywhere. Vaxillology visualises vaccination rates worldwide, by bringing back each country’s flag from grey to (hopefully) full color saturation.
As vaccinations have only started rolling out, I expect the impact of this project to grow over the course of 2021, as more data comes in.
It was so far been praised by the likes of Max Roser, Andy Kirk and Alex Selby-Boothroyd.
Data from Our World In Data, visualization built in HTML/CSS/JS. The visualization updates automatically whenever Our World In Data updates their dataset — usually multiple times per day.
What was the hardest part of this project?
Honestly, the hardest part was having the idea for this project literally days before our second child was born, and not being able to get the idea out of my head even though I knew I wouldn’t have time for it. Well, turns out I can do concept work and write pseudocode on my smartphone while holding a sleeping newborn — and then very efficiently write the actual code when the opportunity arose.
Why should it be selected? You’ll know better than myself, obviously. What makes this project special in my opinion is that it focuses on the big picture — every country needs to beat Covid in order for the world to beat it. Other visualisations focus on the “vaccination race”, this one doesn’t. And I think the visual metaphor of color coming back to the world works quite well.
What can others learn from this project?
Sometimes, simple is best. Your visualisation doesn’t have to answer all questions and cover all aspects of a topic. Go with one key message and optimise for it.