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Improve the functionality of maps on COVID 19 Wikipedia articles to better describe the spread
Open, Needs TriagePublic

Description

The Coronoavirus Pandemic Wikipedia article is viewed over 1 million times per day just in English. 100s of people are working to keep the article up to date, however, whilst we have all the data, the map software is not providing all the functionality needed to describe the spread of the virus. Currently we are restricted only to static images e.g this.

It would be extremely helpful if the mapping software could be improved to have similar functionality to https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-covid-deaths-per-million?year=65

  • Stretch the legend so it takes up about 80% of the width of the frame
  • Have the legend fixed for the entire range of numbers across all years, rather than having it change for every year.
  • Have the year slider occur under the legend. Make the year slider narrow and make the year smaller and occur at each end of the year line.
  • When the cursor is put over a country have the country become shaded and put a line around it. diff
  • Add a gear to the right lower corner to allow people to select the region of the world that they want (T242550).
  • When the user clicks on a country allow a further click to bring the user to a graph of how the numbers for that country have changed over time.
  • Merge the caption into the frame to get rid of the frame inside the frame that is currently there. Doing this does not work

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptMar 27 2020, 7:28 PM

Thanks @Mrjohncummings This would be amazing :-) And many benefits beyond the COVID-19 outbreak.

@Yurik would you be able to explain what work would need to be done to make this happen?

TheDJ updated the task description. (Show Details)Mar 27 2020, 8:37 PM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Liuxinyu970226. · View Herald TranscriptMar 27 2020, 8:37 PM
TheDJ updated the task description. (Show Details)Mar 27 2020, 8:38 PM

Thanks very much @TheDJ :)

Feldo added a subscriber: Feldo.Mar 27 2020, 9:43 PM
Mvolz added a subscriber: Mvolz.Mar 28 2020, 12:02 PM
Mrjohncummings moved this task from Incoming to Product Doing on the covid-19 board.

With the exception of the gear thing, its not obvious to me that any of this is not already possible (taking this from the point of view that its a feature request for graph extension, and not a support request. However from context i think its pretty clear its primarily the latter.)

Is this a task about Vega, the MediaWiki Graph extension, a template implementing the graph extension, or a specific invocation of a graph template?

In as much detail as you can, show us what you've tried and what it's not doing that you want it to do.

Mrjohncummings added a comment.EditedMar 28 2020, 8:32 PM

@Doc_James can you explain more to @Bawolff and @AntiCompositeNumber ? I'm unclear how many of these are feature requests for the software and how many are just writing new things in a template, I think this is probably a question for programmers.

Thanks

Aklapper changed the task status from Open to Stalled.Mar 28 2020, 8:36 PM
Mrjohncummings added a comment.EditedMar 28 2020, 8:52 PM

@Aklapper I'm unsure how to get this unstalled, what additional information is needed? I'm pretty confident me and James wont be able to say if the issues are coming from an extension, a template or something, we simply don't have the technical knowledge to asses this.

Agree with John I am not sure. I can describe what is wanted. I need someone with technical expertise to help determine how these things are carried out. With respect to the first one "Stretch the legend so it takes up about 80% of the width of the frame". How do we do that?

Aklapper added a comment.EditedMar 28 2020, 9:03 PM

@Mrjohncummings: Speaking in technical terms, T248707#6007650 and T248707#6007601 wait for an answer.
However, if this task is a general support request (which would usually be out of scope for Phab as we usually don't track "Create content for a website" requests), then I guess the Maps and MediaWiki-extensions-Graph Phab tags could be removed, as the covid-19 Phab tag exists (hence that exception from "usually").

The task summary states "Improve functionality of mapping software". But there is no information and no proof that this is needed at all for the given bullet points.

@Mrjohncummings: Speaking in technical terms, T248707#6007650 and T248707#6007601 wait for an answer.
However, if this task is a general support request (which would usually be out of scope for Phab as we usually don't track "Create content for a website" requests), then I guess the Maps and MediaWiki-extensions-Graph Phab tags could be removed, as the covid-19 Phab tag exists (hence that exception from "usually").

The task summary states "Improve functionality of mapping software". But there is no information and no proof that this is needed at all for the given bullet points.

@Aklapper thanks, I'm sorry if the summary is incorrect, the bullet points are the things that are needed, please feel free to change the summary. I don't know who could answer T248707#6007650 and T248707#6007601 , me and James can't, who could we ask?

Mrjohncummings renamed this task from Improve functionality of mapping software to better describe spread of COVID-19 to Improve the functionality of maps on COVID 19 Wikipedia articles to better describe the spread.Mar 28 2020, 9:19 PM

@Aklapper thanks, I'm sorry if the summary is incorrect, the bullet points are the things that are needed, please feel free to change the summary. I don't know who could answer T248707#6007650 and T248707#6007601 , me and James can't, who could we ask?

So normally phabricator is for stuff like: X is doing Y but i expect it to do Z (bug reports) and its impossible to X can we change it so i can do X (feature requests). Questions like "How do i do X" or "Is it possible to do X" normally are handled in other places like mw:Project:Support_desk, mw:extension_talk:Graph, WP:VPT, etc. (Not that you will likely get helpful answers there either since There are very limited number of people who understand vega. Not likely to get helpful answers here regardless since WMF disbanded the team working on graphs...)

I do think a complicating factor here is that vega is difficult to learn. Maybe this is egotistical, but im a professional programmer (albeit not in the data viz field) and i find it super confusing. I feel like its unreasonable to expect users to be able to deal with something i wouldnt want to deal with due to the level of complexity.

yeah, vega is a programming language masquerading as a graph definition language that can only be written in JSON. Compounding the issue is that our installation is a few major versions out of date, so the right documentation is hard to find.

Aklapper changed the task status from Stalled to Open.Mar 29 2020, 2:22 PM
Mrjohncummings added a comment.EditedMar 30 2020, 3:32 PM

Thanks @Bawolff and @AntiCompositeNumber I've added requests on Mediawiki Project:Support desk, Mediawiki Extension talk:Graph and Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)

If Vega is the thing that needs fixing, how could I found out who understands it and who could make the changes? Is there someone on WMF staff still who understands Vega or have they moved on?

kaldari updated the task description. (Show Details)Mar 30 2020, 9:28 PM

A lot of us are working to address these issues. We will do so as quickly as possible. In the meantime, some clarification:

  • Vega is capable of interactive graphs with a time component, like https://vega.github.io/vega/examples/global-development/. It is indeed complex and if you're not familiar with d3, it's more or less impossible. It is, however, a declarative version of d3 and therefore particularly well suited at writing templates for different types of charts. These could be maintained by a few people, if the graph extension was maintained (see below). Also, Vega Lite is a much simpler declarative language that might have broader use in custom chart making: https://vega.github.io/vega-lite/
  • The graph extension is 3 versions behind and templates of charts are not centralized. These are inter-related problems and we will fix the graph extension soon to unblock the situation
  • The example of https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-covid-deaths-per-million?year=65 is great. I think we should aim to have a world map graph template just like that, regardless of what we have to do with the graph extension or services behind it

@Milimetric thanks very much for your reply and to all who are working on this. If there's anything no technical I can help with please let me know, I write quite a lot of documentation if that's useful. @Doc_James can provide more info on what is needed if you want any clarifications.

Thanks again

@millimeter summed it up beautifully with " we should aim to have a world map graph template just like [OWID], regardless of what we have to do with the graph extension or services behind it"

Abit moved this task from Product Doing to Incoming on the covid-19 board.Apr 13 2020, 8:26 PM
Abit moved this task from Incoming to Product Backlog on the covid-19 board.Apr 20 2020, 5:18 PM
Abit moved this task from Product Backlog to Incoming on the covid-19 board.
TiagoLubiana added a subscriber: TiagoLubiana.

Just a comment so as not to forget ability to link data to Wikidata ;)