Semantic Visons: Visualizing the Spread of COVID-19 in Global Online Media

Czech-based data analytics and risk assessment firm Semantic Visions (SV) has released to YouTube a dramatic geospatial visualization of the spread of the novel Coronavirus in the world’s online media.

“This visualization not only mirrors the spread of the disease itself, but our data shows exactly how the coronavirus story was presented in national and regional media outlets as the pandemic grew,” explains CEO Frantisek Vrabel.

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The video, which was based on the semantic analysis of 82,283,207 articles in the world’s 10 major languages, shows how global awareness of the disease grew from a few almost imperceptible news stories in early January to global coverage of the pandemic by the end of March.

“Our data and analysis have uncovered a trove of information related to the spread of the virus,” said Vrabel. “Not only can we see how the disease was presented in Chinese media at the outset of the pandemic, but also how disinformation about Covid-19 was propagated by bad actors, namely out of Russia.”

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In addition to delivering a report to the U.S. Department of State detailing the spread of Covid19-related disinformation, SV is using its data in the global effort to mitigate the effects of the virus on the world’s economy. The firm recently partnered with SAP Ariba, the world’s leading procurement and supply chain company, to build a portal detailing global supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.

SV has over 15 years of experience in OSINT data collection and is one of the very few organizations capable of delivering an overarching view of the global online media landscape. SV has long-term practical experience in detecting hostile propaganda and disinformation and in March 2019 took first place in the US-UK Tech Challenge for its development of proprietary technology that can identify and track disinformation and propaganda around the globe.

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