Geography faculty members create COVID-19 map of West Virginia

Two faculty members in Marshall University’s Department of Geography have created an interactive map showing details related to the COVID-19 pandemic in West Virginia.

Larry Evans, adjunct professor of Geography, and Dr. James Leonard, professor and chair of the Department of Geography, launched the map last month and update it daily. Leonard and Evans use desktop mapping software, which then is uploaded to a web mapping software. A person can learn where the pandemic has spread in West Virginia by county.

“Instead of a national map or world map, this narrows the focus to just the Mountain State,” Leonard said. “Clicking on a county will pop up a window with the county name, number of confirmed cases, number of deaths, and number of cases per 100,000 population, the typical way such data is reported. As you zoom in, you’ll see pharmacies, hospitals, EMS stations, and nursing homes, all critical in the fight against the pandemic.”

The page also maintains a running count of the total number of positive cases, tests, and deaths statewide. He hopes that this COVID-19 dashboard cuts through the clutter of a national or world map so that residents of West Virginia can see the pandemic’s effect on their home state.

“As news releases pour in, it can be confusing or overwhelming,” Leonard said. “This dashboard and map allow users to see totals for the state and for each county at a glance (or click).”

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