Information is valuable. If you know where and how the virus is spreading you can make better informed decisions. It's extremely valuable to know where people diagnosed with the virus have been.
What it does
Put simply, we collect the location history of people diagnosed with COVID-19. We collect the data, scrub it (make it anonymous) then make it available via an API.
There's a lot of smart people building apps around infection tracking. But if they all have their own database and their own way of collecting the data its harder to get that critical mass that's needed for a data set to become useful.
We aim to be that central source of truth.
How we built it
We built the API using node. Configured deployment to AWS with serverless. To power it we decided to go with MongoDB because it scales well and handles Geospatial queries out the box.
Challenges I ran into
I haven't used MongoDB much before. It took a while reading the docs but I've been pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to work with.
I wasted a few hours thinking I had an issue with CORS, turns out I was modifying the wrong bit of code.
Like with most other people here, it sure is difficult finding the time. Working your job, looking after kids in self isolation and doing a hackathon at the same time is certainly challenge.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Building something production ready that potentially can help others build amazing solutions to combat the virus is rewarding.
What I learned
MongoDB is actually really good, I'd definitely use it again. My personal location history is accessible via Google.
What's next for Covid-19 Spread Tracker
Building and nurturing the data set. Spreading awareness about it so it can reach that critical mass to become useful. And with that comes other challenges, such as protecting the data set from abuse and manipulation, and finding ways to better anonymise it.
Try It out