TLDR: I'm providing free APIs for anyone to use at data.joeczubiak.com. Our first API serves important public data about COVID-19.
The LA Times and the NY Times are providing their COVID data to the public through GitHub. This is really commendable of them. The data is provided in the form of CSVs and is intended for researchers and scientists to use. It's a great way to quickly make the data public because everyday when the data changes you can download the latest version. However, this format isn’t great if you want to build realtime tools and charts for publishing.
That's where I come in. I decided I wanted to be able to use the data in this exact way, so I built a tool to do just that. Instead of just building this for me, I thought this could be a way in which I contribute to the efforts. It's now a free set of APIs that are available for anyone to use with no email or login required.
Benefits of the API
- Always uses the most recent available data
- Returns JSON formatted data
The importance of data accessibility is huge. News organizations such as the Los Angeles Times and New York Times are doing a really great job of gathering, organizing, and presenting the data. I'm hoping this makes the data a little more accessible for some people and we see more derivatives produced from it.
Example Using the APIs
Here's a quick example of something you can build with the APIs. This is a map showing the new cases in California over the past 7 days and total confirmed cases. Blue dots represent places with no new cases this week. If you read this post in the future, hopefully the dots will all be blue. You can hover over the dots to see the actual counts. This map uses the most recently published data from the LA Times.
- Columns — New cases recorded this week
- Dots — Total confirmed cases
- Blue — No new cases this week
This data has been provided by the Los Angeles Times. Source data: Place Totals.
- Update: This used to be an interactive map and has now been replaced by a still image.
To the future!
Joe's APIs are going to expand beyond COVID-19. That was the obvious and time sensitive place to start and a great project to kick this off with. The idea is to provide a way to give myself and others useful tools to build interesting things. Now that I've built the platform, as inspiration hits, I can easily bring new endpoints to life.
You can take a look at https://data.joeczubiak.com.