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The Spread of Coronavirus Throughout Utah

Animation depicting the spread of Coronavirua throughout Utah over a 6-month period.

By Justin Sorensen

It’s something that has impacted each of us…the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the very way we live our daily lives. Over the past 6-months, Utah has witnessed nearly 50,000 positive cases of the virus (as of 8/25/2020) throughout our communities and the numbers continue to rise. Case statistics tell us part of the story, but what does the spread of nearly 50,000 cases throughout Utah look like over time? Today’s Map Monday release answers this question by depicting a new way of examining the story of Coronavirus in Utah, visualizing the daily and cumulative spread of the virus throughout the state over a 6-month period (2/24/2020 – 8/25/2020).

The process for developing an animation such as this begins by developing a database containing daily and cumulative cases of the virus by each county throughout the state. While developing this database, I found many online resources providing cumulative numbers of the cases, but nothing related to a daily increase in values. One resource found on GitHub provided enough information on daily cumulative numbers that with the application of a few mathematical functions in Excel, I was able to determine a rate change between each day’s cumulative values.

Utilizing ArcGIS Pro to combine the database with a Utah County shapefile using a “Join Features” tool, a time-enabled dataset was created allowing viewers to see the daily increase and cumulative growth of the virus over time. The animation tools of ArcGIS Pro are an amazing resource for visualizing the impacting temporal changes, providing an engaging animation depicting the story of growth, spread, and hot spot activity for positive Coronavirus cases throughout Utah.

Interested in similar projects created by GIS Services? Check out these past Map Monday releases:

Interested in developing a similar project? Reach out to GIS Services to learn more.

About Map Monday Releases from GIS Services

Throughout the semester, GIS Services will be releasing bi-weekly maps on a variety of topics, demonstrating ideas and uses for incorporating geospatial technology into projects and research you are developing. To view our collection of maps, projects, or to learn more about the geospatial services offered through the J. Willard Marriott Library, please visit the GIS Services website @

Happy Mapping!

Justin Sorensen | GIS Specialist
Creativity & Innovation Services / GIS Services

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