James Daniell knows his way around incomplete data. As a disaster researcher, he estimates the damage caused by earthquakes, floods or hurricanes, even if he does not know many details.
Since last spring, he has been struggling with another type of incomplete data: the numbers on the corona pandemic. From the beginning, Daniell was amazed at the number of cases that the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) published on a daily basis. They were obviously too low. Counties reported dozens of infections on their websites that did not initially appear in the RKI data. The number of cases got stuck somewhere along the long route from the district via the state health authorities to the capital.
The Australian, who lives in Germany, therefore started his own corona dashboard on the website of his company Risklayer on his own initiative. He received support from the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Week after week, the researcher collected the case numbers of the 401 counties and cities directly from their websites. A tedious manual work, he was busy with it every evening until well after midnight.