Critiquing media-based cartography in the age of Covid-19; the need for informability

Authors: Patrick Buckley*, Western Washington Univerisity, Patrick Henry Buckley, Western Washington University, Liam Hanson, Western Washington University
Topics: Applied Geography, Cartography, Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: Covid-19, media maps
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Informability has been defined as “relaxed, friendly, or unofficial style or nature” in regards to cartographic outputs we build upon this and focus it more precisely in media based cartography to mean the ability to inform in a readily perceptible format information that applies to the public and their lives. Hence relying on prior work in visualization techniques a map could be given an informability index, simply how well does it complete its task of informing viewers. This study first reviews many cartographic outputs that have appeared in the media since the onset of Covid-19 and evaluates their purpose and informability. Second, it suggests some best visualization practices and applies them to a series of maps to inform the public of the Covid-19 risk regions face across space and time and where policies appear most successful.

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