The researcher team from Boston University's School of Public Health that compiled all of the data on state level policies that were initiated.
What it does
The web application allows users to select any state and do a deep dive into the data on how that individual state enacted policies to help curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus. A user can compare how one state enacted a certain policy versus how another state responded.
How I built it
This project utilized two separate web frameworks (stored together in the same Github repository). The front-end framework was built using React and the back-end was built using a Rails server that responds to API requests from the various React components. PostgreSQL was used for the database. The web application has authentication built out so users can signup and sign into the site and their credentials are stored as salted hashes for security. The original spreadsheet data that the researchers worked on can be imported via a script that populates 7 different database tables. Additionally Bootstrap was used for the styling on the front-end and Chart.js was incorporated in order to display chart data.
Challenges I ran into
I had never worked with React before this project so I had to learn it quickly. I have been working with Ruby on Rails for several years, however, this was my first time trying to build an API only Rails implementation.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
The fact that I picked up React relatively quickly and feel as though I can now further my learning in that area, also being able to build Rails so that it acts as an application programming interface (API) and uses React as the front-end instead of the using the Rails ERB templates to render HTML.
What I learned
Too much to list but the #1 thing is that I learned how to use the React web framework which is what I had hoped to try and do when I started building this project.
What's next for COVID-19 State Policy Tracker
I would like to reach out to the research team at Boston University and see if they would like to utilize this project. Currently it's in pretty solid shape as an MVP and it would require just a little bit more work to launch. I started building out a server on AWS however, I ran out of time before the hackathon deadline. If the BU research team would like to move forward and use this web application I would be more than happy to finish building out the server and continuing on with the development of this project.