There is a lot of information out there about the latest potential pandemic, the coronavirus. Some of it has already been identified as false. In the midst of confusion and likely panic, how do we accurately and successfully track this important and possibly life-threatening situation? Maybe data science can help. This interesting news came to us from Business Insider in their article, “A Malaysian data scientist made a crowdsourced site to track the Wuhan coronavirus, and now people worldwide are chipping in to make it an app.”

CoronaTracker has emerged offering live global updates, charts and maps of the virus’ spread, with plans for an app in the works. This site was created by Malaysian data scientist Lau Cher Han and it consolidates information about the virus from news articles worldwide and credible sources like the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United States’ (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the health ministries of Singapore and Australia.

T site uses data that is first verified by a team of worldwide volunteers from Malaysia, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and the US. Among the pool of over 700 volunteers are medical experts who verify news reports, user interface designers who check information architecture and data scientists who clean the data and analyse it. The result is updated charts and graphs on a daily basis.

It will be interesting to watch how this application can directly affect the education and awareness of the disease’s trajectory.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.