Biocomplexity Institute Releases Enhanced COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard to Provide Greater Understanding of Pandemic Through Visualization

County-level map

April 24, 2020

The University of Virginia’s Biocomplexity Institute has released an enhanced version of its popular COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard with new features including county-level data for the United States and state/province-level data for 15 other countries.  Since its initial release in early February, more than 825,000 users from more than 200 countries have used the Dashboard, which integrates available historical data on global confirmed cases of COVID-19 with features to explore temporal and spatial aspects of the outbreak simultaneously.

The Institute has been at the forefront of epidemiological modeling to track the COVID-19 pandemic and has developed a suite of COVID-19 Epidemic Response Resources including the Dashboard. These tools are supporting healthcare systems and policy makers in making informed decisions for effective interventions and resource allocation for the pandemic.

“While there are numerous dashboards available to support the COVID-19 planning and response efforts, our goal with the Surveillance Dashboard is to help the public better understand the pandemic and make it easy to get answers to the most common questions,” said Dawen Xie, research scientist for the Biocomplexity Institute’s Network Systems Science and Advanced Computing division and lead developer of the Surveillance Dashboard. “From government leaders to concerned citizens, we want to make it easy for anyone to access consistent, correct, current data in as few clicks as possible. Providing real-time county-level data for the United States enables people to understand how their communities are affected.”

The Dashboard features historical and up-to-date graphs that chart daily and cumulative active, confirmed, recovered cases and deaths on a global and national scale. New notable features of the enhanced Surveillance Dashboard include:

  • County-level statistics for the United States, and state/province-level statistics for Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Peru, South Korea, and Spain
  • “Download All” button to get the latest complete dataset with one click
  • Interactive chart for up-to-date cumulative and daily numbers for each country, including an optional line chart view of the top 5, 10, 15, or 20 countries as selected by the user
  • Visualization of all reported COVID-19 incidence data, filtered by date. Now, users have an option to view the reported number normalized with a region’s population
  • Query tool that allows advanced users to focus on regions of interest
  • Data table is clickable in this version to allow user to zoom to corresponding place on the map
  • Video tutorials providing step-by-step instruction on Dashboard options and features

“As the developer, keeping the data format consistent is a challenge, but it’s very important for our users as they are building tools and analytics based on our data,” Xie continued. “For this reason, we work very hard to maintain consistency and have not changed the data format since the initial version. The upcoming release integrates the state-level rendering feature for additional countries which will include a new map layer, so we announced this planned data format earlier this month to get user input. In this way, users are in the loop with these types of important decisions and know what to expect.”

The Surveillance Dashboard integrates real-time open source data from numerous organizations worldwide, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), National Health Commission (NHC) of the People’s Republic of China, China’s DXY, and China’s tencent.com, and curated by the Biocomplexity Institute, 1point3acres.com (for the United States) and Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE).

Other distinctive Dashboard features, tutorials, frequently asked questions, and release notes for the Surveillance Dashboard are available at: https://nssac.github.io/covid-19/dashboard. For more information about the Biocomplexity Institute visit biocomplexity.virginia.edu.