Teaching and learning about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) with web maps, dashboards, and infographics

Blog Post created by jkerski-esristaff Employee on Mar 16, 2020

The ArcGIS platform with its data feeds, online tools, and wide array of maps makes it easy and powerful to teach and learn about the spatial and temporal aspects of the grim situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

See the video I created that walks you through these tools.  One fast way to engage with these tools is to use the existing dashboard set up by Johns Hopkins University.  The situation is changing rapidly, and you can use this video to visualize the changes between January and March 2020.  


Another way to teach, learn, and understand the situation is to start with ArcGIS Online (www.arcgis.com).  Start a new  Map > Modify Map > Add Data > Search for layers in ArcGIS Online > find the Coronavirus COVID-19 cases by CSSE GIS and Data at JHU, and add it to the map.  The data will look like this, in my map as an example, below.

Coronavirus data in ArcGIS Online

Coronavirus data in ArcGIS Online.


Since this map is in ArcGIS Online, you can perform many tasks on it:  You can open and examine the table, sort on specific attributes such as "cases", filter the data for specific criteria, change the base map, and add data to the map such as ecoregions, population density, airports, and more.  Once you save the map into your ArcGIS Online organization, you can run spatial analysis tools on it, such as Summarize Within, Overlay, and Enrich. 


You can share the map with others and create a multimedia storymap from it.   This storymap updated daily from the Esri storymaps team, for example, shown in part below, is a powerful teaching tool and could serve as an idea for your own storymap that you or your students could create.

Sections of the Coronavirus Storymap

Sections of a Coronavirus Storymap.


You can also bring the layer into a 3D scene, as I did here and as shown below.

Coronavirus 3D scene

3D Scene from the JHU Coronavirus layer.



You can also create your own dashboard from the map, as I did here, containing a map, gauges, and graphs, shown below.   To learn how to create a dashboard, see my lesson guiding you through surveys, maps, and dashboards, here

Dashboard created from ArcGIS Online map.

Dashboard created from ArcGIS Online map.  


You can also bring the data into ArcGIS Pro for even further analysis.


New mapping applications are appearing daily, such as this dashboard connected to news articles  and shown below.


Coronavirus dashboard with news feed

Coronavirus dashboard with news feed. 


Another way of understanding the Coronavirus, and to develop skills in Business Analyst Web, is to create a state-based infographic showing cases, as explained here



Lastly, a landing Hub site about COVID-19 apps, data, and resources also exists on:  https://go.esri.com/coronavirus.