Visualizing mail suspension alerts

I’m currently unemployed and super bored, and I’m trying to improve my coding and data visualization skills.
So here is my interactive web app which makes it easy to see which countries you can and cannot send mail to at the moment:
example image:

It is based entirely on the mail suspension data collected by postcrossing, so they did most of the hard work.

I’ll probably continue working on it, to make it look nicer and maybe add some more explanatory text, or even include links to the sources where Postcrossing has collected the data. I’m not planning to use it for anything in particular, just using it to practice.

I’d love some inputs from you, my fellow postcrossers: Does it make sense to you? what (if anything) would you like more explanation about? Is there anything you would change about the layout? the functionality? the wording?

If you’re interested in the code I’ve written to get the info from the website and to make the app, it’s all published here:


Good job :slight_smile: It’s very intuitive. It would be awesome to have a better width:height ratio (so one don’t need to scroll up and down)

edit: I mean when the size is adjusted to only show the world map once (not 2 times America etc)

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Thank you :smiley:
And that’s a good point! I’ll try to scale it so that the starting image is the whole world x1.

Very nice idea! I like visualization of data.

Personally I would prefer a website instead of an app - that would work on my computer as well. :smiley: Mobile phone screens are rather small for my taste.

I get the meaning of the colors green (good to mail to) and red (currently no mail service to), but what does white mean? No information available? You might want to include the explanation of the three colors to the world map picture.

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the link works on a desktop PC :slight_smile:

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It’s a browser app, so it should work on your computer. just click the link and it will open in a new tab. If it doesn’t work it could be because it is not compatible with your browser (but it should support most).
In the starting picture, the colors are actually: green=info about where they send to is available, red=country’s international mail completely closed because of covid, white=no info.
Once you click on a county, the colors will change to show: red=countries you cannot send to from the clicked country, green=everywhere else.


Great tool! :slight_smile:
What I miss is a search button, that zoom you directly to the country of interest.

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ooh! that’s a great idea! It might be a bit of a challenge, but I’ll see what I can do.

Oops, sorry! Misunderstanding on my side. Reading “app” I assumed the link was going to a download page for a smartphone app. :upside_down_face:

Works fine on my computer (Windows with newest Firefox 82.0.3 32-bit)

Thank you for the explanation of colors and how to get the countries from my country! I was about to ask for that because I noticed inconsistencies. Looks like I’m not into intuitive user interfaces… :rofl:

Before clicking on any country, I noticed that Cuba and Thailand are in red, according to your explanation that means all foreign mail services suspended. However, when I check on Postcrossing’s postal monitor, both are not listed for Germany, so it seems not all mail service is suspended… I checked the COVID-19 page of German Post, they agree that I can send postcards to both countries - to Cuba only up to 500g and 2cm thickness, to Thailand everything can be mailed, but parcels get a crisis surcharge. Once I click on Germany, Cuba and Thailand turn green. :smiley:

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Outgoing postal services are suspended.

Challenge is always a good pratice :grinning:

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“Intuitive” is subjective :wink: I’ll add legends to explain the colors. no harm in being more clear.

All the data is directly from the postcrossing monitor site, where Cuba is listed as having “suspended all their international inbound & outbound mail operations”. However, as the app works now, Cuba should not be red if you have clicked Germany (because, as you say, it is not listed under Germany on the postal monitor page).

I am considering changing this so that the “covid-blocked” countries are always shown as blocked even though they are not blocked specifically by the clicked country.

Thank you for the explanation, @Cassiopheia! :+1:

The odd thing is that German Post claims on their website that they can send mail to Cuba. Not sure what the best action on such conflicting information is.

Thanks so much for working on this! It’s complicated data.

FYI, Canada can send lettermail, international packets & parcels to Cuba currently.

FYI, I’m using Chrome on a Mac & clicking on the countries doesn’t work for me

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This is so cool!

When you click on a country with no data, like China, the rest of the world turns green, and the text tells you no data is available.

It might be clearer if the other countries go white rather than green - the people who are not inclined to read the text may mis-interpret this.

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So happy to see so many visits to my little app! thank you all!
I’ve been busy this weekend, but I’ll definitely post an updated version tonight or tomorrow :smiley:

Thank you for the “bug-report” :slight_smile: . It does work for me on a mac using Chrome, but I’ll look into why it doesn’t work for you.

This is great feed back. Thank you :smiley: The issue is that I have no data about where the countries do send mail. only where they don’t, so I’ve been going on the assumption that they send everywhere that is not specifically listed. However, I agree that the countries with no sending info at all are an extra level of uncertainty. maybe I’ll use a lighter green or grey for the cases you mention.

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Just tried again now & it works for me - Thanks!

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App updated based on your input (still same link)

  • map size fixed
  • search bar added (but no map zoom as this got too messy)
  • colors changed
  • color legend added
  • data updated + “last update” info added

To keep it more simple, I think I will change the app so that the first map you see already has a country selected. I might be able to get the app to detect the user’s country of origin, but this seems a bit invasive to me.
Question: Would you prefer that the app knew where you were from (using your IP address), or should it just start with a likely country (such as Germany) selected?


No, I don’t think it’s necessary.

why not start with your country, as you developed it :slight_smile: But I wouldn’t mind if no country is pre-selected (just as it is now).

It looks a lot nicer now! Good job :wink: