City Research Online

On the Use of 'Glyphmaps' for Analysing the Scale and Temporal Spread of COVID-19 Reported Cases

Beecham, R., Dykes, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-8096-5763, Hama, L. & Lomax, N. (2021). On the Use of 'Glyphmaps' for Analysing the Scale and Temporal Spread of COVID-19 Reported Cases. International Journal of Geo-Information, 10(4), 213. doi: 10.3390/ijgi10040213


Recent analysis of area-level COVID-19 cases data attempts to grapple with a challenge familiar to geovisualization: how to capture the development of the virus, whilst supporting analysis across geographic areas? We present several glyphmap designs for addressing this challenge applied to local authority data in England whereby charts displaying multiple aspects related to the pandemic are given a geographic arrangement. These graphics are visually complex, with clutter, occlusion and salience bias an inevitable consequence. We develop a framework for describing and validating the graphics against data and design requirements. Together with an observational data analysis, this framework is used to evaluate our designs, relating them to particular data analysis needs based on the usefulness of the structure they expose. Our designs, documented in an accompanying code repository, attend to common difficulties in geovisualization design and could transfer to contexts outside of the UK and to phenomena beyond the pandemic.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Publisher Keywords: COVID-19; geovisualization; multivariate visualization; cartography; glyphs
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > giCentre
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (35MB) | Preview



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login