Swine Flu Maps

February 10, 2010 at 10:45 am (Uncategorized)

Map 1: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30435064

Map 2: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/04/27/us/20090427-flu-update-graphic.html

The two maps above both show the occurrences of Swine Flu, mostly centered on the United States.  Map 1 shows higher numbers of cases by darker colors, and it separates the reports by state.  Map 2 also reports occurrences by state, but it also includes Canada (by province) and Mexico (as a country) on the main map and has a smaller map showing the worldwide cases by country.  This map shows numbers by the sizes of circles centered on the region where they were reported.  Map 2 also has a slider to show growth over time and see the cases spread.

I believe Map 2 is more useful and accurate, because it includes more than just the United States.  Map 1 doesn’t show what other countries had a huge number of cases, which is important for analyzing how the illness spread.  The time slider for Map 2 shows that cases started in Mexico, leading one to conclude that cases may have spread to the US by travelers from Mexico.  This would be important for officials trying to plan how to prevent future outbreaks.  Perhaps instead of using resources on the entire country, they could have medical checks on people coming into the country to make sure they didn’t bring in any illnesses that were more prevalent in other countries.  The information in Map 2 is vital to making decisions like that, whereas Map 1 doesn’t tell us how the epidemic began.  As such, Map 2 is the more useful of the two maps, due to the extra features/information it provides.

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2 Comments

  1. ethingt1 said,

    I definitely agree with you that your second map was a lot more useful than your first map. Like you said, Map 2 gives us a much better idea of how the swine flu spread from Mexico into the United States, but it also helps us compare the number of cases across the United States to the number of cases in Canada and Mexico. This would allow health officials to determine how big of an issue the swine flu is in the United States, relative to other countries.

  2. xinsong1 said,

    I think you are right, map 2 looks more useful and accurate. It use some circle to show the clustering and distribution, and include more detail and place. But I want to ask you did you take care of t the time scale the two maps. Map2 is from when N1N1 spread to May 11th, while map 1 just for one week. I think the map for a long time scale should have more data to convey more information.

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