The Maplab website interviewed curator Garrett Dash Nelson , who explains what lessons we can learn when exhibition themes and COVID-19 collide. Maps can present data in unprecedented perspectives, but there must be simplifications in between. During global outbreaks, data on viruses and infections are collected by healthcare workers and government agencies in their own way. He believes that to understand a map of COVID-19, one should have a deeper understanding of how data collection is practiced, that is, to understand what the "social life of data" looks like.
When understanding an epidemic map, we should not simply identify the right or wrong of the information, but should consider the political and social context behind them and whether they can be trusted. Maps can already be said to be an important medium for us to visually understand the grand world. After all, it is impossible for most people to visit and investigate whatsapp list the original appearance of various things one by one. For the public, the theme maps that were available in the past were nothing more than election maps that appeared in every general election , or a map of a tourist attraction. However, since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, news pages have often been chock-full of thematic maps of confirmed cases and deaths. In fact, these exquisite maps also require us to look at it with a rational skepticism, so that we will not easily believe what the mapper wants us to believe.
Take the epidemic situation of the network media such as United News , Yahoo News , and Change Date as examples . The maps drawn by each company look different, and use different projections, legends and operation methods. What do these media want readers to believe, that Taiwan is worthy of praise for not having an epidemic? Or how serious is the epidemic abroad? Or is it just an aesthetic consideration? And where did their data come from? These are all directions for further thinking. If you are interested in the details of the exhibition, please click here: BENDING LINES: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception . This article mainly refers to: “Foreshortened Boston.” In Bending Lines: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception.