Software Might Help Predict Disease Spread

WASHINGTON, April 15 (UPI) — A U.S. geographer says he has created a user-friendly software program that allows the discovery of geographic patterns and trends.

Pennsylvania State University scientist Frank Hardisty said disease statistics contained in patient records or detailed in newspaper clippings can be sorted and organized by his computer program to depict geographic patterns.

“The use of interactive maps and graphs, combined with word search interfaces, can lead to greater insight into complex events like the spread of swine flu,” he said.

Hardisty describes his GeoViz Toolkit as a user-friendly application that combines text mining with geographical mapping, allowing a user to search publicly available data to identify and visualize specific patterns.

“Potential applications range from research in public health — infectious disease dynamics, cancer etiology, surveillance and control — through analysis of socioeconomic and demographic data, to exploration of patterns of incidents related to terrorism or crime,” Hardisty said.

The research, supported by the Department of Homeland Security and the Gates Foundation, was presented Thursday in Washington during the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers.

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Categorized | Maps, Other
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