APIs to Track the Corona Virus COVID-19

Last December, in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei Province, a new coronavirus disease, Covid-19, was first identified. Since that time, the World Health Organization reports that the virus has spread rapidly, infecting more than 76,000 people across 26 countries.

APIs can’t help cure the disease but they can be used by developers to collect data about the outbreak, track its spread, and even produce data visualizations. In this article, we highlight a few APIs that let developers leverage the available data about the virus. We also included a couple of tools that use various APIs to track the outbreak.

OctoparseTrack this API Octoparse is a web scraping tool that includes an API for retrieving extracted data and using it in an application. Octoparse recently created a “recipe” that lets users extract live data from China Healthcare Department’s database.

GHO OData APITrack this API With the GHO portal, users can query the World Health Organization’s data and statistics content. Data available includes various health indicators and the data associated with them, and dimensions such as education level and the data associated with them. The API uses the Open Data Protocol (OData) and supports both JSON and ATOM data formats.

ReliefWeb APITrack this API ReliefWeb is a humanitarian information service provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Content on this site including the latest reports, maps, and infographics from trusted sources, is delivered through the API. The API was used to create a daily map that tracks the outbreak among citizens of the EU.

The ReliefWeb API is used to create a daily map tracking the coronavirus outbreak. Image: OCHA

BioMed Central API Track this API BioMed Central (BMC) maintains an evolving portfolio of nearly 300 peer-reviewed journals, focused on research in science, technology, engineering and medicine. Any research concerning the coronavirus is currently free and this research is available via a RESTful API.

Aylien News APITrack this API This API isn’t specifically aimed at tracking the coronavirus, but it is used to monitor worldwide news outlets in real-time to provide users with a news data feed. The Aylien team created a visualization that follows the spread of news coverage since the start of the year. The team used the News API to “map and analyze media reaction to the outbreak, plotting where and when the major events and announcements occurred.” The API itself returns parsed and analyzed news articles as JSON objects.

The Aylien News API was used to create a visualization showing the spread of news coverage of the virus outbreak. Source: Aylien blog

The Aylien News API was used to create a visualization showing the spread of news coverage of the virus outbreak. Source: Aylien blog

OpenCage Geocoder APITrack this API This is another API that isn’t directly related to tracking data about the Coronavirus. Instead OpenCage Geocoder provides forward and reverse geocoding services via a RESTful API. The Coronavirus Global Outbreak Monitor is a dashboard that pulls data from several sources to visualize and track the most recent reported cases on a daily basis. This dashboard uses the OpenCage Geocoder API to call the coordinates of new cases of the disease. Interested developers can learn about how the dashboard was built.

This is a sampling of the APIs being used to track various aspects of the coronavirus outbreak. Check out the ProgrammableWeb directory for other APIs in the Health, Emergency, Government, Science, Mapping, and News Services categories.

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Author: <a href="">wsantos</a>

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