California Releases Open Source Tech, Data to Track COVID-19

Published On: June 26, 2020

California has new technology tools and data to help government agencies and the public better understand the spread and impact of COVID-19, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on June 25.

Hosted in GitHub as open-source code for the public to use, the COVID Assessment Tool (CalCAT) helps scientists and researchers see short-term forecasts, trends, and scenarios based on modeling from across the United States.   The “model of models” will help assess the spread of the disease.

The governor also directed state agencies and departments to publish machine-readable data in its open data portal ( to “to make accessible nearly all COVID-19 data and information.”

Out of a page from his book “Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government,” Newsom wants to use unprecedented transparency to empower the public to help.

“We’re making available the capacity, for people to participate and help build our modeling capacity,” said Gov. Newsom at a press conference live-streamed. “Because one thing we recognize is the limitless of the capacity of expertise and talent that resides throughout the State of California throughout the United States. And for that matter, throughout the rest of the world, the information that we’re now making available is exactly the information we make available to county health officials and see the information that guides the incredible work that Mike Wilkening and, DJ Patil had been doing on our team.”

“We’re. Now we’re opening up to all of you,” he continued. “We’re opening up to mathematicians. We’re opening up to people that are experts in AI and opening up to our researchers and our scientists and our Nobel laureates and our partners across the spectrum… This goes beyond flat files, goes beyond APIs, and simple protocols. We’re doing something much more dynamic, something much more interactive, something that could truly bring to life, the visualization of this data in a much more timely way. It’s rather simple. We want to make the modeling more purposeful. We want to make more applications.”

Read Thursday’s announcement here.


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