Sunday, April 26, 2009
Swine Flu: Info-epidemiology
The recent outbreak of swine flu in Mexico which has now spread to other places (including my fair city) has spawned a plethora of websites and Google maps to try to help people track its spread. Ben Parr from Mashable has made a nice summary of some of the key ones, but my favorite so far has been Rod Page's Timemap, which allows users to see the spread through time on a map of the world (also see Page's post on this effort at iPhylo). Having been involved in a project myself from 2005 to 2007, which sought to merge viral genomics and GIS, it is really cool to see that some of the databases and information sources have finally come together in ways that are actually allowing for rapid dissemination of these types of data. Hopefully this virus can be contained very quickly - and hopefully this new field of info-epidemiology will help with that.