March 22, 2020

Over the past week API usage has continued to climb and more people are visiting the website than ever before. There have been a few requests coming in, as well as a number of internal tasks on the to do list, so over the past few days I have made a number of improvements and additions.

“Live” Data

Currently the API data is updated daily. This is due to the frequency John Hopkin’s University publishes to their Github account. However, there is another accessible stream which gets updates every 20 minutes. This newer data stream is now incorporated in to the API.

What this means is there are now several new routes and sets of functionality. The first is that /live can be added on to a few routes and the most recent record from that day will be added to the response. This allows applications to consume in the same way as they are currently and keep the final data point real-time.

The second is that live statistics can now be retrieved per country per status. These new routes offer a stream of live updates, and either all data for country and status can be returned or only data after a certain date. This allows the data to be polled for efficiently.

The updated routes are available here. I am busy speaking to the JHU and ESRI teams to ensure that the data files are stable and can be relied upon. If anyone has a contact for me please get in touch.

Postman Documentation

The documentation for the API has moved from the homepage to a home on Postman. This makes it much easier to update as well as to consume. The routes are displayed with descriptions, example requests and example responses. It’s a far better solution, you can view it online here.

Mailing List

A mailing list has been created so that people using the APIs can be kept up to date with any improvements or changes. As the API is free to use, with no registration required, this is a good way to make sure anyone who is using it stays up to date. The sign up form is on the homepage.

Performance and Monitoring

A number of changes have been made to the performance of the system. These changes have resulted in broadly a 50% improvement in response times and resource usage.

A monitoring solution has been added to ensure that there is always sufficient capacity, and that the systems are proactively monitored.

Moving Forward

The following items are on the immediate to do list:

  • Add additional data sources (as redundancy and to compare reports)
  • Add more granular data sources (province/state level, cases, etc)
  • Additional functionality (better ways to query data, additional statistics, etc)
  • Improve performance

Summary

It’s been a busy week and I think the coming weeks will be even busier! The API will hit the 2 million requests mark today which still blows my mind. As always, if you have any suggestions or comments please get in touch with me.