The main goal of this master’s thesis is to generate a cartographic product in the form of a thematic atlas focusing on the direct and indirect impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on society and the environment. Along with the actual atlas, it also aims to outline a streamlined methodology on the creation of a thematic atlas of a global topic from project definition to pre-press. This atlas utilizes data from various authoritative sources for global datasets such as the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center (JHU-CRC), the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT), the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Copernicus Services.

To realize these goals, the work objectives were divided into theoretical and practical parts. The first part focuses more on research and initial planning while the practical part concentrates on the actual production and evaluation of the atlas and its components.

Theoretical goals:

  • Describe the cartographic project definition
  • Research on the current state of atlas creation
  • Identify the atlas contents and potential data sources

Practical goals:

  • Collect relevant datasets
  • Harmonize and organize the gathered datasets
  • Compile the atlas contents and layout
  • Perform atlas usability testing

As the final output of this thesis, the atlas can serve as an easy-to-use source of information in understanding the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for general public consumption. While the recentness of information shown has been one of the major limitations of atlases, this COVID-19 atlas focuses mostly on documenting the global conditions one year after the pandemic has started. Given that the pandemic has not been declared over, this atlas can also be used as a basis for the succeeding editions or similar cartographic products in the future. The methodological aspect of the thesis can also be beneficial for cartographers who are concerned with the production of high-volume thematic maps for global topics (e.g. COVID-19 pandemic).