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Our understanding of the types and amount of data has grown along with the pandemic since The COVID Tracking Project started in March 2020. The way states measure and report testing, hospitalization, and cases has become more expansive and nuanced, and the fields in our spreadsheets and API have multiplied accordingly, as have our data annotations.

Our website has also tried to keep up with these changes, but it was designed to work with the data requirements of the early phases of the US outbreak. Since our project launched, our site has served more than 25 million people, and our API has served 26 terabytes of data. While our partners and news organizations expand the reach of our data, it is clear that our own website is a critical source of information for the public.

To better serve everyone, we are introducing a redesigned data landing page and have redesigned the individual state pages as well. Our main goals during this redesign were:

  • To display richer and more complete data for every state data and place it in context

  • To define all our data elements and make those definitions readily available

  • To improve the experience of the more than 50% of our site visitors who use mobile devices

To achieve those goals, we have introduced a few new interface elements to the site. The most notable of these is what we call cards, which group related data elements into a single box. Each state has cards for testing data, cases, hospitalizations, and outcomes, and includes calculated values such as percent increase in cases over the past seven days. 

Under each data element, you will find a definition link, which reveals all the information we’ve assembled about that data point in our dataset. All our definitions are also available in the data definitions page. Where states and territories use data definitions that differ substantially from those we use, we note this in the notes that follow each state’s data cards.

Each state now has a full history—to the extent that the state or territory has provided it—for all of the data elements we compile, via the Historical data link on the top of every card. We also provide a full history page* for each state and territory and a page that lists all our captured screenshots for that jurisdiction’s website.

This redesign—and the data quality and annotation work that underlies it—is the result of many weeks of work across all the teams in The COVID Tracking Project, and we hope that it will help you make better sense of the data our volunteers collect every day.


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Kevin Miller leads the website team for The COVID Tracking Project.

@thatkevee

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By Asia LindsaySeptember 15, 2020