In the World of Damnit, Man

If you haven’t heard, there is a fairly significant outbreak of Ebola occurring in western Africa these days. The most attention has been drawn since the death of an American national in Nigeria. He had been working for the Liberian government and collapsed at the Lagos airport and died shortly thereafter. So the Centers for Disease Control has been reporting and advising on the outbreak and they have at least two graphics.

This first is good. It looks at the spread of the disease through different areas of several countries. It also identifies sites of interest for treating/containing the outbreak.

Outbreak map as of 3 August
Outbreak map as of 3 August

The second, however, takes prominence as an “infographic” on the CDC homepage. How this qualifies as an infographic I have no idea. It is…just sad. I mean I get it, too many people do not understand how Ebola is transmitted. But to call this an infographic does disservice to other, real infographics.

The infographic
The infographic

Credit for the map goes to Elizabeth Ervin. For the “infographic”, no idea.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? I am the data visualisation manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. (This blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of the Fed, blah blah blah legal stuff.) And with my main interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I enjoy cooking and reading and am interested in various subjects from history and geography to politics to science to the arts. And I allow all of them to influence my work.

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