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About this site

The data here is meant to help you understand how Covid-19 is evolving in different areas of France, in one place, without bogging you down with superfluous stats

The ultimate goal is to give you more context beyond increasingly-alarming case numbers: Is that good or bad? Are we heading up or down?

To that end (in case you haven’t already noticed) these plots are all interactive: zoom in on a area to get more detail, or select just a few lines by clicking the legend.

Oh, and mobile users: please turn your phone sideways.

Coming soon

About Covid-19 data

To borrow a phrase from economists, there’s no such thing as a perfect dataset. Covid-19 data is the embodiment of this. It’s extremely hard to establish any certainties with a novel virus that spreads so easily, manifests with such varied symptoms and outcomes, and wreaks literal havoc across so much of the world.

In such a fast-evolving environment, data collection is not going to be exhaustive, nor ideal. The New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian and the Canadian Broadcasting Company, just to name my go-to information sources as a layperson, have all reported stories of delayed results, not enough testing of asymptomatics, technical snafus, among other problems.

This applies to all Covid-19 data, not just what is visualized here.

Nonetheless, even if Covid data is not 100% accurate, it still provides decent benchmarks of where we are, and rough signposts of where we might be heading in near future.

About this data (data caveats)

These maps display Covid-19 indicator values. The values are merely an approximation of the official government figures used to determine if a threshold has been reached.

I cannot replicate government figures completely due to the following:

Data sources

The Covid-19 data comes from Santé Publique France and is updated daily at 19h15 Paris time.

The plots here are updated shortly afterwards, usually by 21h Paris time.

Other data sources:

About the data processing

When I started in April 2020, there wasn’t as much data available—or it wasn’t findable—so I’ve done additional data processing to:

Even though rolling 7-day averages and taux d’incidence are now available pre-calculated on data.gouv.fr, I prefer to keep working with daily “raw” numbers, especially as it allows me to see testing numbers (which I hope to share more here soon).

You can find my data processing scripts here.

About me

Most of my professional life has been spent as a technical communicator, or herding others, at enterprise software firms in the search/analytics/business intelligence space.

Upshot: I’ve spent a lot of time learning new, often pretty complex, tools quickly, just to explain to techie types the ABCs of getting and analyzing data with them.

After years of this I became more interested in learning how to analyze data myself, at the command line with open-source librairies.

That’s how looking at Covid-19 data and compulsively reading Covid news articles somewhat naturally became my hobby since April 2020. It was a good distraction, oddly enough, while confined to a small Parisian apartment for 2.5 months.

With the arrival of the second wave and accompanying media blitz of stats, alerts, and heatmaps, it was leaving me overwhelmed. And if someone for whom data visualization is a fun weekend activity (sometimes, at least) is overwhelmed, what about everyone else?