3D visualization of the global COVID-19 outbreak

Covid-19 has been expanding worldwide since early 2020. The mutated genomes reported worldwide are being registered in an open database for epidemiological analysis and research to prevent the virus’s spread. (GISAID is one of the well known opensource projects)

This project visualized a phylogenetic tree with the genome’s mutation history data. It also visualized the mutation’s spatial extent in three dimensions based on the location where each mutation is presumed to have occurred.

The blue line represents strains containing the D614G mutation in the S protein, and the red line represents strains without the one.

The D614G mutation has been known to act on a protruding protein on the virus’s surface that may increase its ability to invade and infect human cells. And as of September 2020, most of the reported variants are of the D614G type.

This visualization shows that: the D614G first appeared in Asia in January 2020 and quickly spread to Germany and Italy. It then spread across Europe to the rest of the world. Since April, the density of lines crossing the borders has decreased. This shows that governments have restricted movement.

We developed the visualization in collaboration with NHK Educational Corporation and So Nakagawa, a lecturer at Tokai University School of Medicine. NHK, the Japanese Broadcasting Company, implemented this visualization design into its big data visualization system “NMAPS.” It was broadcasted in the 4K TV program by NHK.
(Images and videos on this page are different from the 4K/8K broadcasted version.)

(14/03/2021: Our Project Website has been launched!)





このビジュアライズはNHKエデュケーショナル(株)、東海大学医学部講師中川草氏らと共に開発し、NHKが所有するビッグデータ可視化システム「NMAPS」の一部に組み込まれた。また、NHK BS4Kで放映された番組「ビッグデータで読み解く 新型コロナウイルス感染爆発」、NHKクローズアップ現代+「ビッグデータで読み解く 新型コロナの“今後”」の中で使用された。


2021/03/21: プロジェクトサイトがオープンしました