This whole problem of false or unknown negatives/absences of a spatial
phenomenon. It reminds me of the Maxent modeling approach where you
generate a bunch of pseudoabsences to compliment a limited set of
presences. When I looked for an example with coronavirus and  Maxent, I
found Here
<https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.12.20034728v1.full.pdf> a
different angle on the mapping of coronavirus problem using a bunch of
machine learning approaches and climate data. THese folks think climate
will constrain this thing.

On Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 9:04 AM Tora Johnson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> One more relevant item in today's New York Times: "For every known case of
> coronavirus, another five to 10 cases are out there undetected, a new study
> suggests." https://nyti.ms/2wNeNZz
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Tora Johnson, PhD (she/ her)
> Chair, Division of Environmental & Biological Sciences, Science Hall 107a
> Director of GIS/ Associate Professor, GIS Lab & Service Center, Torrey
> Hall 223
> University of Maine at Machias
> [log in to unmask] ~ (207) 255-1214 ~ Twitter: @toradignity
>
> Need to make an appointment with Tora during office hours? Go to
> http://bit.ly/toraofficehours
>
> Like the UMM GIS Program on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/ummgis
> Like the UMM Science Division on Facebook!
> https://www.facebook.com/ummscience/
> Looking for internships, jobs or grad school opportunities?
> https://sites.google.com/a/maine.edu/careers-umm-science/
>
>
> On Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 7:57 PM Tora Johnson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Dear Colleagues,
>>
>> I hope you are all safe and well. I have been discussing covid-19 maps
>> with fellow geographers around the state, and we believe we've identified
>> an important problem. Nearly all of the maps we have seen show only the
>> number of confirmed covid-19 cases. In spite of the fact that public health
>> officials consistently say that these numbers represent only some of the
>> cases and that the virus has likely already made its way into every county
>> in Maine, we have heard many people, one-on-one and on social media, say
>> that the virus is "not in my county" as an excuse for not practicing social
>> distancing. Maps showing confirmed cases are probably part of the problem.
>>
>> The folly of the "not-in-my-county" excuse was driven home for me over
>> the last couple of weeks when my own 23 year old kid and their roommate
>> came down with apparent cases of covid-19 in Portland. They were diagnosed
>> by their doctors via telemedicine and never tested because they lacked
>> other risk factors. Since this is currently the practice, clearly the
>> number of actual cases is much, much larger than the number of confirmed
>> cases, and the potential for spread across the state is much greater than
>> confirmed case numbers would indicate. Both are recovering and are in
>> quarantine at home, thank goodness.
>>
>> From past studies on how people use and derive meaning from maps, we know
>> that people often skip written information and derive a simplified message
>> from a map or other such easily digested visualization. The maps of
>> confirmed cases that are so common in the press and social media are likely
>> no exception, so we believe many people are glancing at these maps and
>> drawing erroneous conclusions. *The geographers I have spoken with have
>> agreed to begin including high-profile disclaimers in their maps to
>> indicate that the number of actual cases is likely much larger and the
>> virus is likely much more widespread than the number of confirmed cases
>> would indicate. I'm writing to urge anyone creating such maps to do the
>> same.*
>>
>> Currently, the state's official case count page
>> <https://www.maine.gov/DHHS/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus.shtml>
>> includes the following disclaimer, however, it is in plain text and
>> separate from the map: "This is likely an underrepresentation of the true
>> number of cases in Maine since not all individuals are being tested. For
>> individuals not considered to be at high risk, medical providers are
>> currently advised to diagnose COVID-19 based on symptoms." So, it is likely
>> that many people go to that page and glance at the map without reading the
>> disclaimer. I have written to the CDC to recommend that they raise the
>> profile of the disclaimer and place it on the map itself.
>>
>> I gather from what I have read that there is no way without more
>> widespread and targeted testing to estimate the actual number of cases
>> around the state (or anywhere else in the country). So, I understand that
>> the number of confirmed cases is the only quantitative information
>> available to report. Perhaps we can all work on improving the way this
>> information is transmitted to the public with more careful map design.
>>
>> I hope you find this information helpful.
>>
>> Be well!
>> Tora
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>> Tora Johnson, PhD (she/ her)
>> Chair, Division of Environmental & Biological Sciences, Science Hall 107a
>> Director of GIS/ Associate Professor, GIS Lab & Service Center, Torrey
>> Hall 223
>> University of Maine at Machias
>> [log in to unmask] ~ (207) 255-1214 ~ Twitter: @toradignity
>>
>> Need to make an appointment with Tora during office hours? Go to
>> http://bit.ly/toraofficehours
>>
>> Like the UMM GIS Program on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/ummgis
>> Like the UMM Science Division on Facebook!
>> https://www.facebook.com/ummscience/
>> Looking for internships, jobs or grad school opportunities?
>> https://sites.google.com/a/maine.edu/careers-umm-science/
>>
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-- 
------------------
Peter Nelson, PhD
Assistant Professor
Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies
University of Maine-Fort Kent
Office: (207) 834-7683
https://peterrnelson.weebly.com/

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