Live Demo

Some time ago a client asked us to created a map view of the United States with coloration based on flu activity. The client had a proprietary plugin system that included the potential for iframing application into their own application. To solve this problem we decided upon a straight forward and simple approach: use the official CDC flu view open data feed (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/flureport.xml as a source for a very basic map display. Additional requirements included that the site should be able to handle thousands of concurrent requests.

Our solution at the time took 20 minutes to program and about 10 minutes to deploy. We built a quick prototype using the then popular Express framework for Node.js along with the excellent Highcharts mapping library. The deployment using Heroku was extremely straight forward and simple, which allowed us to scale based on request volume. The final production version included a simple in-memory caching mechanism that ensured that data was only collected once a week as not to hit the CDC servers on every request.

We believe that simple problems require simple solutions and don't want to waste our, and more importantly, the clients time, with over-engineering a problem.

You can find the source code of the prototype version here: https://github.com/maxneuvians/cdc-flu-view