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over 6 years ago

Welcome Webinar Recap

If you were unable to participate in the Welcome Webinar, here’s what you missed:


  • Environmental health (EH) professionals usually work in government to make sure the air, water and food we consume sustain us rather than hurt us – NEHA supports and connects these professionals.
  • With the App Challenge, we want to inspire EH professionals to transition their collected data to open source data systems; to open the door to new possibilities. Once you make more data public, you can use it in new ways to create original solutions to public health and environmental health issues.

Environmental Public Health Tracking Network API

  • The API has 260 measures that is available on a yearly basis
  • User Guide” – Here you will find the URL interface along with input parameters, as well as instructions for how to query and return data (returns data in JSON format)
  • Data Discovery Guide” – You’ll find measure ID values, measure names, years and states available per measure (this will help you fill in the parameters that you’ll use against the URL)
    • Clicking on states or years will link to all values that correlate for a particular measure
    • The API doesn’t return geographic boundaries – simply returns information

Esri’s Developer Platform

  • GIS software displays geographic and characteristic information, which makes it easier to identify new patterns and phenomena. It is a tool that can be used in combination with all kinds of data that’s out there to create a compelling picture of what’s happening and what we can do to impact environmental health.
  • After you sign up, make sure to redeem your voucher with the code APPNEHA – this will give you credits to use in the developer platform; these credits will last you for the challenge and beyond.
  • Developer Platform” – You can build an app for any type of platform (desktop, mobile, website)
  • Documentation page” – Through the developer platform, you have access to a lot of free and premium (costs credits) data sources that have been made available by different users. The availability of this data is dependent on who published it and how available and shareable they chose to make it.


How do I know if a similar app has been made before?

You can research what kind of apps are already out there through google or github. For new ideas, you can try contacting county officials to ask them how they use technology like smart phones and apps on a daily basis – what’s out there and what is useful. You can also come up with a better interface for an app – something more intuitive with better usability. For example, there are so many weather websites and apps… but people have preferences.

Can we use data from big cities, like New York City?

Using data from big cities and metropolitan areas is a great idea, since they have a lot of data. Using their data can serve as a model for smaller cities and inspire smaller cities to prioritize adopting similar data collection methods. You have a couple avenues to take, for example you can focus on one point in time over a lot of regions or focus on a span of time in one region.

Also, there are states and cities that are Tracking Network grantees (like NYC); they will have a tracking portal all to themselves, but not an API.

Can you export the data available through the developer platform out to use with other software?

Usually no, though for some datasets this may be possible.   


If you have specific questions regarding the CDC’s API or Esri’s Developer Platform, you can contact:


In the coming weeks, I will be posting interviews from individuals working in environmental health, they will provide insight into their field and how they imagine technology helping their line of work.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me!


Thank you,




We're here to help. If you have any questions about the hackathon, post on the discussion forum or email