From ARCADE Issue 31.4Part of a series of posts sharing infographics and data visualizations highlighted the issue feature, "Designing Data." Subscribe to receive ARCADE in print.

Malaria infographic

"Understanding Malaria"

Design: Tanya Test
Information design project at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Faculty Advisors: Karen Cheng, Visual Communication Design; Carol Sibley, Genome Sciences.

This pair of information design panels explores several aspects of malaria—a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects both humans and animals. On the first panel, a large, circular information graphic categorizes mosquitoes by their resting and feeding locations (indoors or outdoors), their preferred mealtimes (dusk, night or dawn) and their preferred feeding sources (man or animal). The strategies for controlling mosquitoes – and therefore, preventing malaria – are also shown in context to this organization.

Malaria Infographic

Detail of malaria infographic

For example, mosquitoes that prefer to feed indoors at night on humans are the most dangerous malaria vectors because they bite during sleeping hours. The best strategy for combating these mosquitoes are insecticide-treated bed nets. In contrast, mosquitoes that like to feed at dusk and dawn on livestock are relatively weak carriers of the disease.

An adjacent map displays twenty different mosquito species according to their global distribution. These species are color-coded on the main circular graphic, enabling the identification of the countries and regions at the greatest risk.

detail of malaria infographic

detail of malaria infographic

detail of malaria infographic

The second panel explores the incidence of malaria over time and geography. The disease is epidemic in the intertropical zone and has slowly moved toward higher elevations as a result of climate change.

detail of malaria infographic on climate change

Detail of malaria infographic on climate change

For more images of this project, visit