By Jeff FeinmanMay 14, 2009 — It started slowly. First, one person in Mexico got sick. Then another. Then more. The culprit? A strain of influenza commonly known as swine flu. But before it was identified, folks returning from that country were unwittingly bringing the deadly flu back to their homelands.
As fear of a pandemic grew, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) needed to get a handle on outbreaks of the H1N1 virus. One of the tools of their disposal was a software mashup, created by IBM, that brings together the CDC’s reporting data with Google Maps.
“The mashup could see where the outbreaks are in different regions of the country,” said Rod Smith, vice president of IBM’s emerging Internet technologies unit. “A business can now share that mashup with its stores and regions so they can see what’s going on with it, and the CDC can share it with state services, maybe to see what other health facilities or health products are out there.”