A map created online last month by a South Korean university student charting reported coronavirus cases by Japanese municipality as well as the movements of those infected has garnered praise for being an effective visual representation of the current situation.
The "coronavirus case map" developed by Kyushu University student Lee Dong Yon, 25, utilizes health ministry data to plot the routes traveled by those infected within Japan.
The locations of reported infections are marked with red circles, travel movements of those infected are in blue and the locations of those who have recovered are green.
Circles are numbered in the order in which the case was announced by the ministry, while users can look at the press release, the patient's travel history and current status by clicking on the circle.
"I thought the damage could be minimized if we mapped where each infected person had previously traveled," Lee said. The first map was created on Feb. 5.
Although prefectural-level maps which record the reported cases throughout the country exist, those by municipality are rare.
Lee's map, which now receives tens of thousands of views per day, allows the public to see how the virus has spread through small groups or clusters, according to the student.
The psychology student has no background in programming, and taught himself after he became interested in a disaster prevention map he saw at an event hosted last year by Line Fukuoka Corp., a regional unit of messaging app provider Line Corp.
Lee spent a number of sleepless nights while first developing the map, but said he has recently gotten the hang of it. Having to continue his studies and job-hunting efforts on top of updating the map, however, the student has seen his sleep time steadily reducing.
"I'd like to see the map filled with green bubbles to indicate the 'recovered' people soon," he said. The map can be seen at http://coromap.info