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The stakes are high, and the data is complex. Here are some practical recommendations for data designers working on COVID-19 visualizations

In March 2020, COVID-19 was classified as a global pandemic. Every day, we learn something new about the novel coronavirus and updated case numbers appear in datasets managed around the world. And every day, it seems, we also learn something new about data visualization.

Data Visualization Society members have been closely following the massive number of public visualization efforts using COVID-19 data. Some charts have informed and enabled understanding, while others have misrepresented the seriousness of the illness, unintentionally dehumanized or sensationalized represented subjects, or ignored the significant data quality issues around COVID-19 case and death data. …

Katherine Hepworth

Associate Professor of Visual Journalism, Reynolds School of Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno

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