On the Use of ‘Glyphmaps’ for Analysing the Scale and Temporal Spread of COVID-19 Reported Cases


Recent analysis of area-level COVID-19 cases data attempts to grapple with a challenge familiar to geovisualization: how to capture the development of the virus, whilst supporting analysis across geographic areas? We present several glyphmap designs for addressing this challenge applied to local authority data in England whereby charts displaying multiple aspects related to the pandemic are given a geographic arrangement. These graphics are visually complex, with clutter, occlusion and salience bias an inevitable consequence. We develop a framework for describing and validating the graphics against data and design requirements. Together with an observational data analysis, this framework is used to evaluate our designs, relating them to particular data analysis needs based on the usefulness of the structure they expose. Our designs, documented in an accompanying code repository, attend to common difficulties in geovisualization design and could transfer to contexts outside of the UK and to phenomena beyond the pandemic.

ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 10(4): 213
Roger Beecham
Roger Beecham
Associate Professor in Visual Data Science

My research interests include data visualization, applied data science and computational statistics.