COVID-19 Data Visualization

With an ongoing pandemic it’s rather normal to see charts and data, showcasing the situation at the moment. I’ve always found it interesting to study the charts. But often I had problems putting the numbers in relation to each other. This is an attempt to create a 3D chart using the added dimension to explain proportions.

I’ve always enjoyed visualizing stuff. When I saw that the Robert Koch-Institut releases a spreadsheet each day since the start of the pandemic, I played with the thought of making a small project out of it. 

Their spreadsheet isn’t very easy to understand at first glance, but it makes sense once you get into it. I set the goal to not touch the spreadsheet itself, so I could easily swap it out each day to get the current numbers.

I started sorting all the cells in Houdini and categorized them in states. To create each pile per state I split the data up in the below mentioned four categories. Using a .svg map from Germany provided by Wikipedia, I feature matched the data to the corresponding states. 

First I used the data to derive the colouring from, but that turned out to be a rather irritating result. As I’ve already sorted the data to create the state height it was basically free to create the plates on top. 

I also experimented with a Unreal Engine 4 implementation, but it crashed a little bit too much and I therefore put it on the back burner. But it works in general. 

Next step would be to sort the date on which the information was recorded and create a over time growing chart. On a personal note: I find it very calming, that the ratio of healed to infected/dead is so high. I think Germany did a good job reacting to the virus and it’s fascinating to look at the data in depth.

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