Network visualizations are instruments for distant reading to visually explore large corpora. In the Cartography of COVID-19, the relevant body of scientific literature is used to elucidate how the coronavirus has affected society, through the eyes of scientists. The work makes no pretense of explaining the pandemic, but rather its intention is to make visible the effort of science through scientific production, which amounted to 400,000 articles by 1 December 2020.
Using the open-source database COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) released by the Allen Institute for AI, articles are grouped by authors and analyzed with Natural Language Processing. The resultant metric of lexical similarity between authors enables the creation of a spatial representation of the scientific community as a network where two authors that use the same vocabulary are next to each other. (More information about the process can be found at “Mapping as a Contemporary Instrument for Orientation in Conferences”.)