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HEALTHmap Maps Epidemic Text Alerts to a Graphical Map of the World

HEALTHmap provides a jumping-off point for real-time information on emerging infectious diseases and has particular interest for public health officials and international travelers.

It "brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. This freely available Web site integrates outbreak data of varying reliability, ranging from news sources (such as Google News) to curated personal accounts (such as ProMED) to validated official alerts (such as World Health Organization). Through an automated text processing system, the data is aggregated by disease and displayed by location for user-friendly access to the original alert."

Sure, you can scan through this information in the freely available sources, but by displaying it on a graphical map, it allows one to pick a particular geographical location with all of the alerts aggregated about that place. In Web2.0 parlance, it's called a mashup, re-displaying information in a more usable way. Moreover, it's wonderful that you have the chance to pick specific resources that you believe in, and exclude the ones you don't.

This started as a research project, and I hope it finds funding to continue and become independent. Add Google ads and I'll bet it will be sustainable. At least I'm hoping so!

Others commenting: MedGadget, Wired News, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang of IFTF.

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About the Author


Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.