James Madison University

Spread of Pandemics

Interactive Visualization of West-Nile Virus in Virginia

Immunization rates in the developing world

The carton below depicts mosquitoes carrying West-Nile Virus attacking a skewed world map while nurses are attempting to immunize all of us against the spread of the disease.  The world map as it is shown here can be thought of as the mosquito’s “view” of the world and is therefore skewed such that distance across the warped landscape is now proportional to the likelihood of disease.  Locations revealing similar patterns of disease outbreak are close to one another and locations revealing dissimilar patterns of disease outbreak are far apart from one another.  For example, Spain and New York are next to each other on this constructed world map suggesting that disease outbreak at those two locations were similar in some way.  Also depicted here are nurses who are effectively fighting this disease (through immunization) following the vectors “view” of the world.  This drives home the point that if constructed charts are based on both the likelihood of pandemic spreading from one place to the next and on the prevalence of immunization, we would know that we are optimally fighting the outbreak.

DIAGRAM: Constructed Cartography