Making Sense of COVID-19 Data, Mapping, & Modeling Tools
A uniquely 21st century response to a global pandemic is a host of web-based tools and data sources to track, analyze, model and access information about COVID-19. The volume of information can be quite overwhelming. We’re here to help make sense of these resources, and to offer up a few of our favorites. Below, we’ve curated our favorite coronavirus data, modeling, and mapping resources that have emerged throughout this pandemic. Our focus in curating this collection is tools that are national in scope, and with data at least as granular as county-level (where possible). The landscape is changing quickly and we’ll continue to update this page. If you have a tool you find useful, please suggest it here.
Below you’ll find a curated list of resources, rather than a comprehensive compendium. We selected these based on (a) ease of use, (b) application for community engagement and programming, (c) accessibility of the data, and (d) transparency of the methods. We’ve organized the items into the following categories:
Counting COVID Cases
The first tools to emerge in response to the crisis were related to counting COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths (and eventually testing), as we collectively seek to understand the scope of this event. Updated daily, these resources can help understand the current state. Johns Hopkins University has led the way, creating the first tracking map as the novel coronavirus emerged in China in early 2020. Their work has expanded to include now county-level maps and additional visualizations.
Racial Data Tracking
Emerging data have indicated disparities in COVID-19 mortality in African American populations. We’ll update this list as more states make testing and outcome data available stratified by race and ethnicity.
We like the following resources to get a broad perspective with indicators covering a wide range of topics related to the crisis in a tight package.
Identifying the Most Vulnerable
As details emerge about who is most vulnerable to COVID-19, so have tools to map those populations. This includes older populations, and those with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular, or respiratory diseases. The following resources explore those who are the most vulnerable to both COVID-19 and the related economic and social fallout.
Data modeling offers a glimpse into the future; it’s useful for planning and decision-making, but it’s not without caveats and challenges. To make our list, the model needs to be clear and transparent about what assumptions the model is making, and how best to use and interpret the information. We’ve also included a few resources that explain some challenges of data modeling and how to best use them. Note: There are multiple models that deal with hospital capacity and surge for healthcare planning. We have not included them but refer you to this resource for a full list.
Do you want to get your hands on the raw data? Here are a few resources which provide data download as tables or API