Nextstrain seeks JavaScript developers to combat Covid-19

Nextstrain seeks JavaScript developers to combat Covid-19

Creators of a visualisation tool to track disease movements need programmers to handle high-priority problems

Credit: Dreamstime

Nextstrain, an open source project to provide real-time tracking information about the evolution of pathogens, has put out a call for JavaScript developers to help build out its interactive web application, Auspice, as part of its COVID-19 efforts.

Auspice is an interactive explorer for phylodynamic and phylogenomic data—data sets that show the evolution of a given pathogen, plus other behaviours like its geographic movement.

Right now the project has been devoting a major share of its resources to help track Covid-19. You can see an example of Auspice visualisation for Covid-19, including an interactive map of disease transmission over time.

In a GitHub issue detailing the need for help, Auspice’s developers described how it publishes weekly situation reports using narratives on the spread of Covid-19, which are broken into sections by world region.

However, each narrative can currently use only one dataset as a source, so Nextstrain is looking for developers who can help expand how narratives use datasets.

Developers with JavaScript skills can also donate their skills to other high-priority issues in Auspice, such as the need for dataset-loading tests, a Firefox rendering bug, and many others. Prospective contributors should read up on how to contribute to the project before diving in.

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