In line with the limited existence of a consolidated cartographic product and the budding map issues about the COVID-19 pandemic, this diploma thesis was developed to create a thematic atlas focusing on the direct and indirect impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on society and the environment, employing proper cartographic and design principles.
In creating the atlas, a cartographic project definition was formulated first to structure the objective and project specifications. GIS and tabular datasets were then acquired from global data sources to create various types of visualizations such as maps, charts, and infographics. 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 Programme.
The content of the atlas was divided into four main chapters focusing on the current state of the pandemic, its social implications, as well as the indirect impacts on the economy and environment. Before the maps were created, pre-processing and standardization of the data were done using GIS software. Reference maps and several types of thematic maps (e.g. choropleth maps, categorical maps, synthesis maps) were utilized to provide a holistic narrative of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Desktop publishing software was used in the post-processing of the maps and charts. Color accessibility testing was also conducted to ensure that the color schemes used in the atlas are distinguishable even for people with color vision deficiencies. Based on the project specifications, the atlas layout was designed following the principles of graphic design.
A short usability testing was also performed through a survey questionnaire and user interview to assess the interpretability and readability of the atlas. Aside from this, the testing was also conducted to identify which atlas components can be further improved to enhance its overall readability. Upon gathering the results of the user testing, necessary improvements were applied to the atlas design ensuring that map use has been incorporated into the creation of the cartographic product.
The result of the diploma thesis is a printed and digital version of a thematic atlas about COVID-19 and its implications on the social, economic, and environmental aspects. Along with the actual atlas, a streamlined methodology of atlas creation from project definition to pre-press was also defined.