Monitoring the flattening

If there’s been any winner in all this COVID stuff, it’s the people who manage data and provide visualization of just what is happening. I’ll admit that I check our local Health Unit for daily numbers. Today’s number shows a continuing drop in daily cases.

As we’ve come to know though, that’s only part of the important information. I’ve learned more about Rt and Cases per 100 000 than I ever thought that I would. It’s the sort of data that allows a community like ours to be compared to Toronto. The populations are so different.

I was playing around with a new online comparison utility today and it helped with the process of comparing region to region. You can start with a visual that shows the province, colour coded

But then choose the health units you’re interested in. I compared Toronto to a few from the southwest. It was simply done by following instructions and choosing those you wanted.

One piece of information that I found interesting and hopeful was the totals for vaccinations given. We’ve got a long way to go as a province and it can be monitored here.

One thing that I haven’t found yet is a visualization of the long term care places that are reporting incidents. Or, long term care incidents as a percentage of the local health unit totals. I’m sure that that information has to be important for decision makers.

You can check out HowsMyFlattening for yourself here.

Infographic Yourself

Update:  Please try the link on a computer and not an Apple iDevice.  It uses Flash to generate the infographic.  Thanks @buttercuphll for pointing out the frustration.

On Fridays, I like to focus on one of a couple of things.  Either it’s about Ontario Educators or something graphical.  This week, it’s graphical but I would encourage Ontario Educators (and anyone else who is reading this) to check this out.  It’s an online application that will create an infographic all about you!  …. according to their questions.

The application is located here.  Unless you’re multi-lingual, you’ll probably want to click on the little British flag in the top right corner of the screen.  Doing so will change the language of interaction to English although doing the survey in Portuguese can be a bit fun too.

The questions are pretty graphical no matter what language you choose.  Just answer the questions … gender … pet … travel, etc. and then sit back to have the program collect the data to form your infographic.  Your content will be merged with everyone else who has used the application.  So, drum roll, here I am…

So, how did you stack up?  I know that from curiosity, you’ve created your own!  Make sure that you customize it and save a copy for yourself.

I like the customization and the colours.  It shows just how quickly and easily data can be turned into information and there are some deep reflections that can be made when you look at the data.  This would be an interesting activity to do with students or anywhere that you need to start a discussion about the results.  How do you stack up against the over 100,000 others that have contributed to the collection of data?

Like many infographics, when you peel back all of the design, this is really an exercise in data and histograms.  It’s just a fun little activity.  If you try it and are transparent enough to share your results, please let us know where we can find it.

Love & Hate on Twitter

In my Twitter stream last night, I saw a message from the Guy Kawasaki Alltop stream that talked about an infographic about Love & Hate on Twitter.  I’m a sucker for a good infographic so clicked through and saw the image.

It’s a long infographic and so it took some time to read through and totally understand what was in the design.  I had this bizarre feeling that I’d seen this before.  It’s not too bizarre because I’ll spend time reading these things and I know that I’ll revisit some of them.  Then, I hit the bottom of the infographic and saw Copyright @ 2011 Neoformix.  My head snapped up just a bit.  Neoformix is Jeff Clark.  Jeff is a former student of mine and Neoformix is an outlet for his graphic and programming creativity when he’s not out running.

I flipped over to the Neoformix website to confirm and, yep, that’s him.  But, there’s more.

I think that most people like a good infographic.  But, if you’ve ever tried to create one yourself or assign it to students, it is not a trivial task to undertake.  I think that most people just assume that you open Photoshop and then go to it.  And, for the most part, that may be right.  However, for this infographic, Jeff has created a blog entry describing how he created it.  I was impressed when he started off indicating that he collected the data for “love” and “hate” from over a couple of years.  Talk about dedication to the project.

As you read the post, and I hope that you do, Jeff provides a nice insight to the developer side of these things.  It’s great reading.  I know that @pmcash was going to explore doing this as an activity in Computer Science this year.  After all, many infographics are a new spin on working with histograms, a standard task in programming.

So, please take a moment to read Jeff’s post and if you’re having students create infographics, bookmark it for later reference.  It’s a keeper.

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