Time magazine named The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, a website that has helped the world better understand and track the COVID-19 pandemic, to its list of 2020 Best Inventions, calling it “2020’s Go-To Data Source.”
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), of Laurel, provide essential data collection, curation and aggregation ̶ including important analysis and illustrative visualizations of that data – for the site, which delivers the most accurate information available on the pandemic.
The annual list recognizes 100 groundbreaking inventions that, according to Time, “are making the world better, smarter and even a bit more fun.” The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center is included in the Wellness category. Time built the list of winners from nominations submitted by its editors and correspondents around the world. Nominees were evaluated on factors including originality, effectiveness, ambition and impact.
Hopkins launched the global COVID-19 Dashboard, led by Whiting School of Engineering associate professor Dr. Lauren Gardner, in early 2020, and it quickly became a leading source of centralized data on the pandemic, allowing governments, the media and the public to visualize and combat its rapid spread. As the global impact from COVID-19 increased, the university expanded those dashboard efforts to create a larger Coronavirus Resource Center (CRC).
The APL team came on board in late January to streamline and automate the dashboard’s data intake and analysis process, and its system now collects confirmed reports of coronavirus cases and deaths from more than 300 data sources, including the World Health Organization and international and local health agencies. For the U.S. map, the system draws from state- and county-level reports, and sometimes local news outlets that supply machine-readable data.
The continuously updated data tracked on the resource center is relied on by the public, government agencies and the media to make informed decisions and understand trends in cases and deaths, testing, contact tracing and other public health responses. The CRC also offers original analysis from every Johns Hopkins division, regular live events featuring top experts, and educational content – all of which is free and available to people worldwide.
Since its launch in March, the CRC has been viewed nearly a billion times by users around the world.