An online map created last month by a South Korean university student that charts reported coronavirus cases in Japan as well as the movements of those infected, has garnered praise for being an effective visual representation of the outbreak.
The map, developed by Kyushu University student Lee Dong-yon, 25, utilizes health ministry data to show cases by municipality and plots routes traveled by those infected.
The locations of reported infections are marked with red circles, travel movements 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. Users can look at related press releases, travel histories and current statuses by clicking on the circles.
"I thought the damage could be minimized if we mapped where each infected person had previously traveled," Lee said. He first created a map on Feb. 5.
Although prefectural-level maps that record reported cases throughout the country exist, those by municipality are rare.
The 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, Lee said.
The psychology student has no background in programming and taught himself after a disaster prevention map he saw at an event hosted last year by Line Corp.'s Fukuoka unit piqued his interest.
Lee spent a number of sleepless nights while first developing the map, but said he has recently gotten the hang of it.
Balancing his studies and job-hunting efforts on top of updating the map, however, has lowered the amount of sleep he has been getting.
"I'd like to see the map filled with green bubbles to indicate the 'recovered' people soon," he said.