Ebola epidemic (update)

As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “the 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa”. Since the first map series published here in August, an additional 5367 cases and 2294 deaths have occurred, resulting in a total case count of 7492 and a total number of deaths of 3439 for the current outbreak according to the most recent updated published on October, 3rd. These significant changes change the shapes of the cartograms published six weeks ago, not least because the current outbreak exceeds all previous Ebola cases counted since 1977, as the following maps show using the most recent data:

Cartogram visualisations of Ebola virus cases
(click for larger version)

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Ebola Outbreak

The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has not been brought under control since it became part of international attention early 2014. As of 15 August the suspected and confirmed cases added up to 2127, leading to 1145 deaths in the region (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
The outbreak is not only unusual in its absolute numbers of cases and deaths (before the current outbreak a total of 2387 cases and 1590 deaths have been recorded by the World Health Organization since the virus was discovered in 1976), but also in its geographical patterns: While WHO obervations in the past mainly occurred in the tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa (affecting mainly Congo, DR Congo, Gabon, Sudan and Uganda), the current and by far largest outbreak is observed in the previously unaffected countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and (less servere) Nigeria). The following map shows not only that Ebola is restricted to Africa, but to a very small part of the continent. It shows the countries of the world resized in a Worldmapper-style cartogram according to the total number of cases in each country in 2014 (to date):Map of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa - total cases as of August, 14thTo put the outbreak into further context, the following maps show the death counts of all Ebola outbreaks to date, as well as two split maps of deaths in 2014 and pre-2014: Continue reading

A mapping sequence for malaria and mosquito nets in Africa

Roll Back MalariaThe upcoming annual World Malaria Day on the 25th of April is one of the most visible international activities to tackle the problem of a disease that today is mainly a problem on the African continent. Beyond that day, activists from public sector as well as from many private organisations have regular meetings to find solutions for a disease that UNICEF describes as both preventable and curable. Continue reading

Two Sudans

The human shape of the planet is constantly changing, so that the map of the world needs to be drawn every once in a while. On this 9th of July we are witnessing the birth of a new nation, with the south of Sudan officially becoming independent from its northern (now) neighbour. The following gridded population cartogram shows the population distribution within and between these two nations, giving every person living in the region the same amount of space. For the much smaller population in the south it will be hard work ahead in building a new nation, and for statisticians it will be similar hard work to improve on the population data that went into the creation of this map, as the pattern shows how crude the information about the population distribution in some parts of the two countries is – however, it still gives a good indication of where people living in the two new Sudans that are now on the world map:

Map / Gridded Population Cartogram of Sudan in 2011
(click for larger map)

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A Picture of Open Access

The Open Access Week is promoting Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research. It goes into its 5th year in 2011. The community claims that

Open Access (OA) has the potential to maximize research investments, increase the exposure and use of published research, facilitate the ability to conduct research across available literature, and enhance the overall advancement of scholarship. Research funding agencies, academic institutions, researchers and scientists, teachers, students, and members of the general public are supporting a move towards Open Access in increasing numbers every year. Open Access Week is a key opportunity for all members of the community to take action to keep this momentum moving forward.

Following up the Open Access Africa 2010 conference in Nairobi/Kenya Rania Baleela and Pablo de Castro Martín have created a presentation the global development of Open Access (and draw a special focus on the situation in African countries). They used a number of worldmapper maps to make their case. In addition I created a new map for them that shows the number of activities by country along the SPARC-organised 4th edition of the Open Access Week (Oct 18-24th, 2010). This is the newly created map on the OA 2010 activities (the full presentation can be accessed online in the e-archive of the University of Madrid, Pablo has also written a brief report about OA Africa at the BioMed Central Blog):

Map of activities at the Open Access Week 2010

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South Africa: A people’s view

The ball is rolling, and the football world looks at South Africa and the South African people, who keep the world entertained with the unique Vuvuzela sounds. There are an estimated 49,320,000 living in the country, with an area of 1 221 037 square km this makes a population density of 41/km2. But the population is far from being equally distributed across the country. The following special worldcup edition of worldmapper’s gridded population cartograms shows where people are really living, and in which dimension the cities strike out in the population distribution. For easy orientation, all worldcup host cities are labelled. In addition elevation information is added to the map, so that one can see how many people live at which elevations.

A map of the population distribution and elevation in South Africa, including all 2010 Worldcup host citiesClick here for a larger view

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