How not to visualize Coronavirus data

Hungary’s Surgeon General published a map today titled “Affected municipalities and age distribution of infected people”. It is really bad.

The following map was published today on the official Coronavirus site of the Hungarian government.

Map showing “Affected municipalities and age distribution of infected people”. Source.
  1. There is no good reason to use dots for each municipality (that even overlap each other) instead of a choropleth map, where the geographical area of each municipality would be colored based on some metric.
  2. This binary metric does not really offer any insight: what do we learn from the fact that there was at least one infected person in a town? Instead, the metric we should use is the number of cases per 100000 inhabitants as this would tell us how bad the situation really is in a given location.
Choropleth map of Hungary showing population density on the district level. CC-BY-SA 4.0 by Klarigi. The Hungarian government does not release detailed Coronavirus data, therefore I can only add an illustrative map here instead of one showing real data.

Transportation Economist by training, currently working as a Data Scientist at Booking.com. Map and geo data enthusiast. Avid hiker. Personal website: hann.io

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