BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – A Huntsville software developer wants to help people understand the impact COVID-19 is having on Alabama. So he created a website for it.
David Marconnet created the website BamaTracker.com in early March around the time when the coronavirus started spread through the state. He used numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health to create graphs and charts that show how the virus is progressing.
“My whole goal with this was just to make something that was easy to use for everyone, that I can share it with my mother-in-law or share it with my friend and not have to worry about them having a degree or being an engineer or something to try to understand it all,” Marconnet said.
On the site, you’ll find stats related to deaths, hospitalizations, cases per day, demographics and more. Marconnet says he started by looking at trends based on ADPH data. Then he did experiments with things he found interesting. He’s also added data sets requested by users.
Different sets of data tell different stories and support different view points. Marconnet says people have used the data in a variety of ways.
“You’ll see a lot of picking and choosing of a single chart or a set of charts,” he said. “Again, I’m not an expert, but in my opinion, but I think you have to take everything, the big picture of all the data. You can’t just look at one thing and say, ‘Oh there’s a drop here or there’s an increase here, everything’s terrible or everything’s great.'”
He says he didn’t create the website for political reasons. It’s simply a way of presenting the information in a way that’s easy to understand.
“So it’s sort of been a neutral attempt at showing the information,” he said. “Because everyone has an opinion of what’s going on. But that’s not my goal. My goal is not to say, ‘I think this is happening.’ My goal is to say, ‘Here’s the numbers I got, and this is how it looks, that’s it.'”
Marconnet plans on building on the site, and he’s heard from doctors around the state and the country with suggestions for other data sets he could explore.
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