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    Dots are positioned randomly and it emphasizes the large outlier in Hubei. The downside is some might infer a dot locates an individual case. It’s always useful to include a note to clarify any potential confusion in how to read the map symbols.

    I actually found this pretty convincing. Then about half the comments on this thread are getting it wrong despite the warning both in the text and on the picture. That seems pretty convincing that this is a bad design. Pity. I liked it.

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      “Responsibly mapping” and then including Taiwan into it, over which the PRC has about as much control as over any other neighboring country?

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        You could argue it’s still part of China, which is composed of two states.

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          Which would be roughly as sensible as grouping North and South Korea together.

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            It can be, depending on what you’re talking about. Even though they live under very different regimes, North and South Korea are the same people. Same goes for China.

            Not sure in this case though. Management of an epidemic is indeed a responsibility of the state.

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              Okay, agreed, if we were to discuss e.g. the cultural response to things, then yes. Similarly to West/East Germany, but also Austria, at which point looking at it from the perspective of national states becomes somewhat meaningless.

              In this case, less so, so including Taiwan only acknowledges the PRCs claim over the “Taiwan province”.

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        Do we really want the map to be screaming bright red? Red is a very emotive colour. It has meaning. It can connotates danger, and death, which is still statistically extremely rare for coronavirus.

        I remember hearing/reading that associating red with danger and violence is a western thing and that other cultures have their own associations. Maybe you could show a different colored map based on the geographic location of the viewer?

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          A common example is in China Japan and Korea, red is associated with fortune so when a stock increases in price, that increase is red, and a decrease is in green. This is opposite of how it’s done in the US.

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          I feel like the “dot-map” one does the best job. You get a quick and accurate view of what regions are crammed with infected people and ones not, but also where within the region. I’m surprised it’s not more used (I’ve never seen one before this).

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            but also where within the region

            This is wrong: points are spread randomly within the province, they don’t correlate to actual people or cases. This makes the dot-density map really misleading, and this comment is evidence.

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              I don’t like the dot one. It doesn’t correct for population. It implies that cases are spread uniformly over the area, but it’s clear that that assumption isn’t even close to correct. Cases are undoubtedly heavily weighted towards cities just because that’s where the people are, different parts of the province are almost certainly doing different, etc.

              I particularly don’t think it’s responsible to make it look like the entire area is doing the same when we are talking about something like a virus. People use the press to decide how they should respond to the virus, and if they are in the region, local variations matter. Note that this is different from the other maps that make it clear that we don’t have fine grained enough data to divide up the region, but don’t suggest the absence of local variation.

              For this data in particular, glhaynes also has a very good point that it looks like the color has been inverted or something. I was similarly initially confused, removing the label might help.

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                Replying to:

                Don’t you think it’s more useful to report an estimation of where an infection happened, rather than saying “we don’t know, somewhere in this massive area”?

                Cases are undoubtedly heavily weighted towards cities just because that’s where the people are, different parts of the province are almost certainly doing different, etc.

                And this is what the dot density map implies anyway? Or are we talking about two different maps? X) I’m seeing very very sparse dots in non cities and dense as hell in cities…?

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                  I feel like we must be interpreting the map differently, or looking at different things.

                  What I’m seeing, in this image, is a map divided into a bunch of provinces. Provinces contain both rural and urban areas. Within each province dots are spread uniformly at random, i.e. any point within the province is equally likely to have a dot no matter the local population density, and the local propensity to have the virus relative to the rest of the province.

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                    Within each province dots are spread uniformly at random

                    Oh, they are placed randomly in the province? :( Ok, that does suck.

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                I had a little trouble with the dot density map: because the dots were so dense in Hubei Province as to almost entirely fill it, I initially read Hubei as being rendered in inverse color for emphasis, leading me to interpret the small remaining non-dotted negative spaces there as being its “dots”.

                Probably not a problem in a higher-resolution setting — or for smarter viewers!

                Even then, though, it could easily be interpreted as showing a harder boundary at the province level than actually exists — as though the province was basically filled with cases that abruptly end right at the edge. That seems particularly likely to mislead a viewer in this case into thinking this is showing the effect of a hard quarantine right on the province boundary.

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                  FWIW I experienced the exact same thing