Stepping Out during the Covid-19 pandemic by Northeastern University

Design Brief: During the Covid-19 pandemic, Northeastern University launched the #protectthepack campaign, which used a variety of media to keep students, faculty, and staff informed, connected, and safe. As data visualization students at Northeastern University's College of Arts, Media, and Design, we were tasked with creating an engaging and encouraging Covid-19-themed visualization to be displayed at the only accessible community space on campus, The Snell Library.

Our Hypothesis: People actively sought safe and healthy ways to enjoy fresh air during the pandemic lockdowns of 2020, resulting in an unprecedented enthusiasm for hiking, camping, birdwatching, and the outdoors. Many were new to these outdoor activities, wanting to get away from being cooped up indoors, and discovered a wealth of new experiences, making deeper connections with the natural world.

Our Data:
1. Frequency of bird sightings by type in
the U.S. as reported to

2. Frequency of Google searches for the phrase ‘local hiking’ 2019, 2020

3. Percentage share of travel by North Americans devoted to camping pre and post Covid-19 from the 2020 North American Camping Report

4. Number of trips made to National Parks by Americans in 2019 and 2020 coded from 1 - 51+ visits from the National Recreation and Park Association's '2020 Engagement with Parks report.