A New Ebola Crisis Page Built with Open Data

We are introducing a new Ebola crisis page that provides an overview of the data available in HDX. The page includes an interactive map of the worst-affected countries, the top-line figures for the crisis, a graph of cumulative Ebola cases and deaths, and over 40 datasets.

We have been working closely with UNMEER and WHO to make Ebola data available for public use. We have also received important contributions from the British Red Cross, InterAction, MapAction, the Standby Task Force, the US Department of Defense, and WFP, among others.


How we built it

The process to create this page started a couple of months ago by simply linking to existing data sites, such as Open Street Map’s geospatial data or OCHA’s common operational datasets. We then created a service by extracting the data on Ebola cases and deaths from the bi-weekly WHO situation report and making the raw files available for analysts and developers.

The OCHA Regional Office in Dakar contributed a dataset that included Ebola cases by district, which they had been collecting from reports by the national Ministries of Health since March 2014. This data was picked up by The New York Times graphics team and by Gapminder which partnered with Google Crisis Response to add the data to the Google Public Data Explorer.


As more organizations shared Ebola datasets through HDX, users started to transform the data into useful graphs and maps. These visuals were then shared back with the wider community through the HDX gallery. We have incorporated many of these user-generated visual elements into the design of our new Ebola crisis page.


It has been inspiring to work with so many dedicated data enthusiasts within the humanitarian community on such a challenging crisis. The stories we read and hear about of the survivors and the health care workers in the affected countries motivate us to keep working hard to make this data available.

Special thanks to the hard working volunteers from the Digital Humanitarian Network for their collaboration, and to Simon Johnson who has made the Ebola data easier to understand through his data visualizations.

If you have Ebola data that you would like to contribute, get in touch with us. We also like getting user feedback. Send an email to hdx@un.org or find us at @humdata.