With the Corona/Covid-19 crisis ongoing, the John Hopkins CSSE (Center for Systems Science and Engineering) provides a dataset on the number of infections per country. The dataset is compiled from information by the WHO, and publicly available as a CSV on GitHub.
I took it as a chance for trying out Observable & visualize the number of infections in Germany:
My take on Observable
Trying out Observable was cool and I will definitively use it again, but I find it less intuitive to use than Jupyter. The most confusing factor was that code does not run from top to bottom. Instead, it is similar to a spreadsheet - individual cells get updated when one of their referencing values changes. So, changing a cell can impact quite a lot of other cells, without you having to trigger a recalculation. You can see the relations between cells by clicking on the “minimap” in the top right.
Then, you can refer to the cell’s value in other cells by using this name.
All in all, this was a really cool learning experience and I can see myself using Observable often in the future. I especially liked the clean looks and how snappy everything was. And I think it’s awesome that they themselves are using their notebooks for documenting their own platform!
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