Building a Prototype for FDA Food Data

In response to 18F’s challenge to build a next generation application using the openFDA API, Blue Raster developed the openFDA Enforcement Mapper. Our goal was to create a map-based dashboard showcasing food recalls across the United States. You can visually see how recalls affected different regions.  Here is a first look at how we built this rapid prototype.


Another Blue Raster solution for Open Data Enterprise along with the Tracing Global Foods story map inspired the visual design. In the spirit of the challenge, five team members rapidly prototyped the application using Node.js and the latest HTML5/Javascript. The visualization pulls data from the openFDA API, gecodes food recalls by location and maps the impact across the United States.

The team carefully combined multiple technologies to power the app:

  1. Source code pre-processing: Babel, Jade and Stylus
  2. JavaScript ES6 & 7
  3. Amazon Web Services / EC2
  4. Node.js / Express
  5. Data Visualization: Chart.js
  6. React
  7. Flux
  8. Container: Docker
  9. Map interface: ArcGIS JavaScript API
  10. Jenkins

For full project documentation and code, visit our GitHub at
openFDA Enforcement Mapper

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