News and Media
Check out our latest news and podcasts
In The News
October 19, 2020
The Baltimore Sun:
Meet some of the Baltimore women driving the national response to the coronavirus pandemic
When Lauren Gardner hit the “publish” button on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard in January, she expected like-minded researchers, academics and scientists to share the virtual tool mostly among themselves. But as quickly as the coronavirus itself spread, the data portal fast became the world’s trusted source on the state of the pandemic, offering millions of people a bird’s eye view into the virulent infectious disease.
Hopkins’ COVID-19 Dashboard tracks cases, recoveries and deaths caused by the coronavirus, updating with verified data every hour. Site users can examine individual countries and communities as well as download the data to conduct their own analyses. Since going live, the dashboard has garnered about a billion hits and been referenced by top lawmakers on Capitol Hill as well as by media outlets, policymakers and individuals seeking more information about the spread of COVID-19 in their communities, Gardner said.
September 4, 2020
PaleyIMPACT: Health Tech in the Age of COVID-19
Leading public officials, medical experts, and journalists gather for PaleyIMPACT 2020 on September 3, 2020, to comment on the evolving technology used in the fight against COVID-19. Final topics include: concerns about an insufficiently tested vaccine and the importance of transparency in discussing its side effects; the media’s role in highlighting the virus’ powerful effect on disenfranchised communities and crafting a coordinated.
September 3, 2020
York City health officials struggle with COVID-19 data
A lack of staff with backgrounds in epidemiology and data analysis has left the York City Health Bureau struggling to study, interpret and release to the public a pile of COVID-19 data it has collected, city officials say. “When you’re not being transparent about that data, it opens up other questions about how you’re framing and how you’re thinking about decisions,” said Beth Blauer, executive director at Johns Hopkins University’s Centers for Civic Impact. “It’s the crux of that trust.”
August 18, 2020
Coronavirus data errors reveal ‘uncharted waters’ for states
A newly revealed glitch in Iowa’s coronavirus data platform was blamed this week for artificially lowering the state’s reported numbers of new infections and positive diagnostic test results. The error, which was reported Monday by the Associated Press, resulted in potentially thousands of recent COVID-19 cases being counted as having occurred several months ago, creating what one nurse called a “horrifying” effect on the state’s ability to safely reopen schools and other facilities. “When we don’t have trusted data around COVID, the real danger is we are making decisions on a regular basis about what businesses are open, what schools are open, and it is presumably being informed by the case data, and testing data and prevalence of disease,” said Beth Blauer, the executive director of the Johns Hopkins University Centers for Civic Impact. “If that data is flawed, you’re not making sound public policy decisions.”
July 14, 2020
Hopkins’ Covid-19 dashboard won a Making A Difference Award at ESRI UC 2020
As the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, walked away – figuratively speaking – with the Making A Difference Award at ESRI UC 2020, social media erupted in applause. Johns Hopkins University’s and COVID dashboard have become almost synonymous now with Center’s Coronavirus Resource Centre dashboard becoming the global reference for the COVID-19 pandemic. The map, which uses Esri technology, is maintained in near real time throughout the day through a combination of manual and automated updating.
July 11, 2020
July 8, 2020
Johns Hopkins University (JHU) have launched a new online tool that helps parents see states’ plans for schools reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening policy tracker is part of JHU’s eSchool+ Initiative, which was introduced earlier this year to “develop guidance for schools and policy stakeholders to think responsibly and equitably about students during school closures and reopening” during the pandemic.
June 29, 2020
Since launching in January 2020, the university’s Coronavirus Resource Center has exploded in scope and popularity, garnering millions of page views and popping up in news coverage and daily conversation. Through numbers, the tracker has told the story of what the virus is doing while the story is still unfolding, offering a nearly real-time picture of its silent march across the globe. Racial disparities — and the limitations of data — are all visible if you look closely at the red and black screens.
June 18, 2020
Smart Cities World:
Covid-19 Management Metrics for Cities sets out to provide a set of critical indicators alongside technical assistance for cities around their utilization. Bloomberg Philanthropies has released guidance to help city leaders collect and analyse key data to shape the next phase of recovery response to the pandemic while keeping the most vulnerable residents’ needs centre stage.
May 22, 2020
The Baltimore Sun:
Controlling coronavirus cases will take effort, cooperation as states reopen, Johns Hopkins and MIT experts say
As states like Maryland begin to reopen, the burden increasingly will be on individuals and businesses to act responsibly to ensure coronavirus cases don’t surge back again. This was the message from a panel of experts from Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health convened Thursday to discuss how to reopen responsibly. Most states, including Maryland, have at least partially lifted stay-at-home orders.
May 3, 2020
Meet the minds behind the Johns Hopkins coronavirus map
Beth Blauer and Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, two key members of the Johns Hopkins team that is tracking every confirmed coronavirus case, tell Brian Stelter how they do it, what the numbers do and don’t reveal, and why people can have confidence in the data, even though it is incomplete. With regards to the death toll, “we may see that the true number is actually larger than what’s been reported,” Nuzzo says, “not the other way around.”
April 21, 2020
Data and Modeling in Combating and Tracking COVID-19
Dr. Tom Frieden, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, discussed efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Beth Blauer, executive director of the Johns Hopkins University Centers for Civic Impact, talked about the university’s COVID-19 dashboard and mapping tool, which has been used by media outlets and epidemiologists to help track the spread of the virus and the trends driving the response to the disease.
April 16, 2020
Johns Hopkins coronavirus map adds local data
A global map that tracks coronavirus cases now includes data broken down to include every US county. The world version, produced by Johns Hopkins University, includes confirmed cases by country and has become a trusted resource for tracking cases of COVID-19, fatalities, recoveries, and other data, since its launch in January.
April 29, 2019
For Immediate Release:
Centers for Impact Launches at Johns Hopkins
The Centers for Civic Impact, an effort to help public organizations thoughtfully and masterfully use data and research to better understand and improve public life, has launched at Johns Hopkins University. Read more.
January 3, 2019
Government Technology Magazine
International Open Data Conference Identifies Key Themes for Data Work’s ‘Second Phase’
Notes (by GovEx team member Eric Reese)
Following the recent International Open Data Conference (IDOC) in Buenos Aires, Eric Reese of the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University identified several key themes he expects to be a major part of the next phase of open data work. Read more. (scroll down)
December 10, 2018
Cities are using data to make decisions more than ever. Are they calculating risks for bias?
by Michaelle Bond
With one million properties and limited staff, New York City needs to be selective about the buildings it inspects for fire risk. So it relies heavily on data — including on past fires and building traits — to choose. Read more.
September 19, 2018
Smart Cities World
The toolkit that protects citizens against bias
By Smart Cities World news team
The Centre for Government Excellence (GovEx), DataSF, the Civic Analytics Network and Data Community DC have introduced an algorithm toolkit that aims to help municipal leaders ensure that decisions made based on algorithms are unbiased and deliver the best outcomes for residents. Read more.
September 18, 2018
Algorithm toolkit aims to help cities reduce bias from automation
By Jason Plautz
The Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University released a new toolkit to help cities ensure that automated decisions based on algorithms in fields like criminal justice or higher education are free of bias. Read more.
September 18, 2018
Making Algorithms Less Biased
By Dave Nyczepir
For several years now, critics have raised questions about new risk assessments used to help judges decide whether defendants can be released from jail before trial. They have argued that the algorithms at the heart of those reviews too often end up introducing racial bias into what is supposed to be a more fair process. Read more.
May 14, 2018
Data training center for government opens at Johns Hopkins University
By Mark Satter
The Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) launched a new training center on the Johns Hopkins University campus in Baltimore, Maryland, onMonday that offers in-person and online data courses for government employees and those interested in data-driven governance. Read more.
May 14, 2018
EXCLUSIVE: GovEx at Johns Hopkins University Launches Training Center for Government Data Skills
By Zack Quaintance
The Center for Government Excellence, also known as GovEx, is launching a new training center aimed at helping public employees embrace emerging trends in government technology, including data management, analytics, community engagement and more. Read more.
January 19, 2018
KGNS.tv, Laredo, TX
“What Works Cities” Program: Where does Laredo stand?
By KGNS staff
The City of Laredo is wrapping up its first year in the Bloomberg Philanthropies “What Works Cities” program. The program is a national initiative meant to help mid-sized cities improve how they use information to improve the quality of life for its residents.
January 16, 2018
The Astrophysicist Who Wants to Help Solve Baltimore’s Urban Blight
By Issie Lapowsky
Vacant buildings have their own sort of gravitational pull. When a home gets boarded up on one block, you can almost bet another will follow nearby. Often, they pull whole neighborhoods into their orbit, driving down the local housing market in ever-expanding clusters. Which at least begins to explain why Baltimore has tapped Tamás Budavári, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University, to study their patterns.
December 18, 2017
Policy Options Magazine
Open Data Standards Will Improve Public Information
By Rachel Bloom
Canadians who rely on public transit know how uncomfortable it is to wait outside for a bus on the coldest day of winter. Some Canadians are turning to transit apps that display information about bus locations in real time on their phones to avoid the cold.
Dec 8, 2017
The Hub at Johns Hopkins University
Setting standards: Hopkins center helps develop new tool for cities to navigate the open data movement
If you’re looking into recent crime activity in your neighborhood, chances are you can check out a Google map dotted with incident locations. Click further, and you can find the type of crime reported, the date and time it occurred, and other details.
November 30, 2017
New open data directory collects standards from around the world
By Zaid Shoorbajee
A partnership between two civic data groups has led to the launch of a free directory of open data standards with the goal of making it easier for governments to find specifications that suit their open data needs.
November 29, 2017
Government Technology Magazine
GovEx Launches First International Open Data Standards Directory
By Zack Quaintance
The project aspires to give city governments a resource for identifying suitable data standards based on popularity, reliability and other criteria.
November 27, 2017
KnoxNews.com (part of the USA Today Network)
New tools help reduce Knoxville’s urban blight
By Tyler Whetstone
Tye and Andre Duvall’s home project has taken them months to work on and there’s still plenty of work to be done. When a reporter got a tour of the home on East Fifth Avenue in October there was no deck (it had rotted), the living room was roped off (some rot there too) and there was no drywall or much of any infrastructure.
November 20, 2017
GovEx, Geothink Launch Open Data Standards Directory
By Bailey McCann
The Center for Government Excellence (GovEx), part of Johns Hopkins University, and GeoThink, a part of McGill University’s Department of Geography, have launched a new open data standards directory.
October 27, 2017
The Baltimore Sun
Universities to study how to turn Baltimore into a “smart city”
By Sarah Gantz
Imagine that Baltimore’s street lights automatically came on when they sensed someone was near, collected data about air quality and even alerted police at the sound of a gunshot.
October 23, 2017
Long Beach Business Journal
Technology And Innovation Department Seeks Study To Improve Business Processes
By Samantha Mehlinger, Assistant Editor
Assuming the Long Beach City Council approves a recommendation from the technology and innovation department tonight (October 24), the city might get one step closer to improving its business licensing and permitting processes.
August 15, 2017
Laredo Morning Times
Fire station improvements, public park surveillance eyed as Laredo City Council delves into budget
By Julia Wallace
Laredo City Council began parsing through its fiscal year 2017-18 budget on Monday, wrapping up day one of a three-day workshop with a focus on data governance, the city’s debt and a capital improvement program.
March 20, 2017
Government Technology Magazine
Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of 2017
by Tod Newcome
It seemed like the start of a promising, somewhat modest career as a lawyer working at the World Trade Center in New York City. But on Sept. 11, 2001, Beth Blauer’s life changed dramatically. Following the tragedy and without a job, she returned to her home in Maryland where she ended up working for the state in juvenile probation services.
Recent Press Releases
- Center for Government Excellence Announces First of Its Kind Algorithm Toolkit to Reduce Bias Affecting Local Governments
- Center for Government Excellence Releases New Smart Cities Guide
- Center for Government Excellence Training Center Focused on Helping Governments on Data Skills
- First Ever International Data Standards Directory Launched to Better Coordinate Government Data Collection and Analysis
Listen to Data Points, the premiere podcast on all things government and data.