Ben Matheson

In January 2021, Alaska residents seeking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment faced a convoluted maze of websites. The software was made for providers—not for residents. The Anchorage Innovation Team built a fast, and mobile vaccine finder website for Alaska using R. What started as a web scraping prototype launched statewide one week later and ultimately connected tens of thousands of Alaskans to a vaccine.This talk will cover how we used R to build Alaska's vaccine finder and how R is a powerful protoyping tool that can supercharge projects. It will cover:

  • Prototyping and rapid product development with R
  • Scraping and http packages (rvest & httr)
  • Using Heroku and S3 to run R jobs 24/7
  • Creating a flexible data service with R