Choropleth map of Canada COVID-19 cases by health region using Leaflet and D3

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Canada I wanted to get better understanding of the geographical distribution of COVID-19 cases across Canada. So I set about to make a choropleth map visualization of confirmed COVID-19 case counts in Canada. I also created a separate choropleth map for Montreal which is Canada’s COVID-19 “hotspot” with about 25-30% of Canada’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases.

View live Canada map here:
https://sitrucp.github.io/canada_covid_health_regions/index.html

View live Montreal map here:
https://sitrucp.github.io/canada_covid_health_regions/montreal/index.html

The only similar geographical boundaries that have confirmed case counts for all of Canada that I could find for was by: 1) province/territory and 2) health region.

I choose to use health regions in these choropleth maps because there are lots of maps by province / territory. The health regions are geographical boundaries described by provincial health authorities. They likely roughly correspond to population size.

I used Leaflet.js open-source JavaScript library to create the interactive choropleth maps, using D3.js to retrieve and transform csv format data, and Javascript to retrieve JSON geographic boundary files.

The confirmed COVID-19 case counts are available in csv file format from the COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group. The csv files are maintained on Github which is updated daily collating data from provinces and territories.

The health region geographical boundary descriptions were obtained primarily from Statscan ArcGIS Health region boundary Canada dataset. However, I needed to make some modifications to update boundaries used by health regions which is described in more detail in Github repository README.

The biggest challenge to create these choropleth maps were data issues were relating geographical boundary names to the confirmed case health region name. Basically needed to create a lookup table to match different names in boundary data file and confirmed counts data file. See Github repository for more details on boundary modifications and relationship between boundary names and health region names.

Code for this project is maintained on github.com/sitrucp/canada_covid_health_regions.

Montreal COVID-19 confirmed case count
Montreal COVID-19 confirmed case count

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