Covid-19 changes the way we see open source software

Work is hard right now. COVID-19 makes it a challenge to stay focused and motivated. How the open source community is responding to the global pandemic. Since the end of January, the community has contributed to thousands of open source repositories that mention coronavirus or COVID-19. These repositories consist of datasets, models, visualizations, web and mobile applications, and more, and the majority are written in JavaScript and Python.

The way researchers connected those dots highlights the role of open science projects in tracking the evolution of Covid-19 and other diseases. Sharing data and working collaboratively across the web, scientists are quickly analyzing genetic samples, helping to shape the public response.

As we all adjust to living with the new realities that COVID-19 has brought, we are reminded how fragile our world can be. However, many open source tools and technologies have been developed that are being used to fight this crisis around the world.

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Building Cheap Ventilators through Open Source Collaboration

Some of the most fundamental open-source ventilator models have been found to be taking place through social media channels, and open-source platforms like GitHub. This has sorted out the cost challenges and developed a response strategy to the crisis.





Having the ability to quickly discover and evaluate available digital public goods will make a significant difference when handling the response to a communicable disease pandemic. The difference between being in the containment or mitigation phase of an outbreak relies on the ability to find an existing tool like a disease surveillance system or knowledge management system, all in one place.


Hospital leaders can use CHIME to “get more informed estimates of how many patients will need hospitalization, ICU beds, and mechanical ventilation over the coming days and weeks.” A user can input how many patients are currently hospitalized and see, based on other variables, how demand might increase over the coming days.

CHIME is primarily built with Python and uses the pandas open source dependency for much of the underlying data-transformation number-crunching to generate the estimates.

Real-time COVID-19 visualization by

I find this project especially interesting because the data is retrieved via an open source API created by GitHub user ExpDev07 that queries an open source dataset from John Hopkins University. The John Hopkins dataset (an aggregate of more than a dozen other sources) is currently the most popular COVID19-related project on GitHub.




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