Saturday, May 02, 2009

Maps of the Swine Flu Outbreak - Updated

Using maps to track the spread of diseases has a long history and in the past has often helped to contain or stop their spread.

Perhaps the most famous disease map is the spot map created by John Snow in 1854. Snow created his map to plot the location of cases of cholera in Soho, London. The map helped to prove that the Soho outbreak of the disease was caused by water that came from one pump in Broad Street. The dominant theory at the time was that cholera was caused by "bad air", so John Snow's map helped to prove the true cause of the disease.

None of the maps below are likely to help us overcome Swine Flu and most of the maps are far less accurate than the map created by John Snow. However these maps do give us a reasonable overall impression of how the outbreak is spreading.

H1N1 Swine Flu My Map
This Google My Map seems to have been the first map to have been created to track the Swine Flu outbreak. The map was created by Dr. Henry Niman a biomedical researcher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The map, which has generated nearly 400,000 views so far, is embedded below.

View H1N1 Swine Flu in a larger map

The FluTracker Map uses data from Dr Niman's H1N1 Swine Flu My Map. The data is compiled from official sources, news reports and user-contributions.

Mapa de Influenza

This Google Map shows the spread of Swine Flu in Mexico. The map is a collaborative, social sharing attempt to map the epidemic, which requires user input.

If anyone knows of an outbreak of the flu they can add the information to the map by clicking on the location and entering the details.

Wikiprotest Swine Flu Maps

Wikiprotest have embedded the H1N1 map above in their blog and have also found another Google My Map of the H1N1 Swine Flu Outbreak. This My Map is marked as 'open collaboration', which means that anyone can add to the map if they know of Swine Flu cases not yet on the map.

This map uses black markers to indicate confirmed deaths and red markers to indicate confirmed infections. Question markers on top of the markers indicate that it is a 'suspected' death or infection. This map seems to show that the outbreak may have already reached Europe.


It is possible to follow the latest worldwide news about the swine flu outbreak on the excellent HealthMap. To view swine flu news make sure that you uncheck everything except for influenza in the 'Diseases, last 30 days' column.

HealthMap aggregates news feeds from the WHO, Google News, ProMED, and many other sources to provide the latest information from all around the world.

Swine Flu Tweets

If you want to track the reactions of the Twittersphere to the Swine Flu outbreak this Google Map is tracking the latest tweets that mention 'swine flu'. The map animates through the latest tweets as they are made.

It is possible to select which part of the USA (or Europe) you wish to see tweets from by selecting from the buttons on the left of the map.

Geocommons Maker! Maps

FortiusOne's GeoCommons have produced three new Google Maps to show areas around the world that have been affected by the current outbreak of H1N1 Swine Flu and areas that might be prone to the outbreak.

The first map (pictured above) has a really useful interactive timeline that shows the spread of reported cases throughout the world. Press play on the timeline and the map will animate. It is also possible to drag the timeline to view data for any given day.

Swine Flu Cases and Measures by Country

The second Google Map shows what different countries are doing to avoid the spread of the outbreak in their country. The map also shows the number of swine flu cases that each country has encountered so far.

Air Passengers between the US and Mexico

The third map from Geocommons shows the number of air passengers between the US and Mexico. The number of passengers is shown on the map by the size of the map marker. It is possible to click on the markers to get more detailed information.

Up2Maps Swine Flu Map

This is the first heat map of the outbreak that I have seen. The colour on the map represents the percentage of the world's possible cases of Swine Flu that each country has.

A heat map gives a very good quick overall impression of which countries are being affected by the outbreak and by how much.

Up2Nets have also produced another heat map of the outbreak called H1N1 Swine Flu Infected and Possible Infected

OpenFlu Map

OpenFlu have produced a simple Google Map that show the current cases of Swine Flu around the world. OpenFlu are also presenting the data in table form, so users have two ways to visualise the scale of the outbreak.

The OpenFlu data is being collated from The Guardian and a number of other sources.

Washington Post Distribution of Cases Map

The Washington Post has used the Google Maps Flash API to produce this map that is tracking the distribution of Swine Flu (H1N1) cases around the world. The map shows confirmed cases in red and suspected cases in black.

To learn more about cases at each location click on the map markers. The map uses marker clustering, therefore more individual cases will appear as you zoom in on a location. The Washington Post map also includes a number of buttons which will zoom the map to different countries around the world.

Google Flu Trends

Google have now released a special Google Flu Trends page for Mexico. The page uses Google search activity in Mexico to help track human swine flu levels. Unlike the Google Flu Trends for U.S., this data is not validated against confirmed cases of flu but after conferring with US and Mexican health officials, Google decided to share these results "to provide additional information on the evolving epidemic."

The page includes an interactive Flash heat map of the Swine Flu outbreak in Mexico. Pointing at any region with your mouse will bring up a legend informing you of the current level of the outbreak in that area.

Via: Official Google Blog: Experimental Flu Trends for Mexico

Ushahidi Swine Flu Map

Google Maps mashups of the Swine Flu Outbreak are still being produced thick and fast. The latest comes from crisis information crowdsourcing website Ushahidi and is actually one of the best maps of the outbreak so far.

This Google Map of the outbreak allows you to filter the results shown on the map by Confirmed Cases, Suspected Cases, Confirmed Death, Suspected Death and Negative. Beneath the map is a graph showing the rise (and hopefully eventually the fall) in cases of Swine Flu. The user can adjust the dates to view a graph for any period and the data on the map will change to reflect the date range chosen as well.

Like all of Ushahidi's Google Map mashups users can submit information to the map by filling in a short form or by sending an SMS message.


Click2Map, the map creation website, have also produced a Google Map of the outbreak. The Click2Map Google Map lets the user filter the results shown on the map by Confirmed cases, Suspected cases, Deaths and Negative.

The map makes good use of numbered marker clustering which allows the user to get a quick overview of the extent of the outbreak in different states and countries. The Click2Map map also has a search facility so that the user can find a location on the map that they are interested in viewing results for.

Geotagged Swine Flu Videos

Another interesting way to keep up-to-date on the latest news about the outbreak is via this Google Map of geotagged YouTube videos about Swine Flu.

The map includes a number of videos about the outbreak, mainly from news channels. The map includes a handy forward and back button which makes it easy to skip forward to the next video.

H1N1 Swine Flu Timeline

Using the Google Earth plugin I've created a timeline of the H1N1 Swine Flu outbreak. The data comes from the H1N1 Swine Flu My Map.

Due to the inaccuracy of the data this map should be seen purely as an experiment. For example, the timestamps on the data seems to suggest that the outbreak spread from the USA to Mexico rather than the other way around. However the timeline does give a rough idea of how the outbreak seems to be spreading.

BBC Map of the Outbreak

The BBC map does not use the Google Maps API but I'll include it here because it is likely to be one of the most accurate maps in this list and because it has a good timeline of the spread of the disease.

Swine Flu Map Animation - this map uses a number of maps created with the Google Chart API to create an animated timeline of the outbreak.

Swine Flu Cases in Western Europe - this My Map is tracking the outbreak exclusively in Western Europe.

Swine Flu Heat Map - This site uses the Google Visualisation API to produce a heat map of the outbreak. The site also contains a time graph so you can view the increase (and hopefully the decrease) in cases over time.

Chicago Schools And Business Closures - This Google My Map shows school and business closures in the Chicago area and surrounding counties related to the recent
H1N1 Swine Flu Outbreak.

RSOE -Pandemic Monitoring System - Full screen Google Map of the Swine Flu outbreak with a rolling ticker of the latest news on the outbreak in each country.



Anonymous said...

Hey, AWESOME map, with great detail.

Please, PLEASE keep it up to date -- a lot of us are tracking it along with you!

Anonymous said...

If you're using Google Earth to generate your map, consider hosting the kml file at

Enrique Munoz Goncen said...

Hey there, this is another API with AJAX and PHP for the swine flu, in Mexico (for the begining), is starting. PLEASE help us to difuse it along the society.

Enrique Munoz

Jeff said...

We've got a couple maps embedded here that are being updated frequently:

Anonymous said...

Hm, interesting map indeed.... Following it from the Netherlands with interest as well.

Nomad said...

i'm hoping the Swine Flu amounts to as little as the other scares and outbreaks that have occurred over the last couple of years

ambilac said...

Many thanks for the updated maps - have placed a link referencing your site on our current events section via our safe survival and preparedness site... we are keeping an eye on this outbreak

Anonymous said...

hey guys,

there has been a case reported in London from
an employee of British airways.
the case was reported in the Uk's guardian.

Sam said...

That Case regarding the Air Steward has proved negative - there are now (at point of commenting) no reported cases in the EU.

TangerineFl said...

Great idea to put this map up.

KevinC said...

Here is a map that I have created to track the origins and destinations of the infections/cases.!112
"Map of 2009 Swine Flu H1N1 outbreaks and migration paths reported from news and government agencies. The map lists reported dates and paths of infected persons traveling."

Note that many infected travelers have gone through Cancun and not Mexico City.

Sorry...I started this on Live Maps and now have too much info in it to switch back to Google Maps.

leah said...

KevinC -
thank you much for the origins/destinations map. Very helpful, although I'm bummed as I'm traveling to Cancun in a week and was hoping it hadn't reached there yet.

blah said...

I personally think the best map is

Alf said...

Quite useful maps. Hope it helps tracking down the source and most contaminated areas in order to avoid them until situation is OK.

Anonymous said...

So I am supposed to leave for mexico tomorrow morning... My mom is freaking out and now my birthday is ruined!

Michelle said...

The H1N1 Swine Flu My Map above includes areas of discussions and precautions as well as *actual* cases of Swine flu, so (for NC at least) is incorrect. I'd suggest placing only the confirmed cases on the map. I think we can pretty well assume there is someone everywhere who may/possibly/could have been infected, so that info is *not* helpful nor worthy of mapping here.

Anonymous said...

There has been a confirmed case in Orlando Florida. Someone visiting Disney....Why isn't it posted?

Mike said...

Thanks Michelle. I think the danger of maps like this are that they can cause a panic by posting reports that are inaccurate or unconfirmed. I can't see any source attribution attached to these map markers which makes me very suspicious. If anyone can confirm that this is indeed info from the CDC or WHO, I'd like to be see it.

Anonymous said...

my suggestion just dont rely on one website

lindalulu said...

Great information with all that's happening in the world today. With new outbreaks happening all the time it is good to know what is really happening around the world. I wrote an article on this subject:
Withe each and everyones help fighting this infection hopefully we can stop its spread very soon.

Moody's Mood said...

How could i track 4 this map the new two italian suspected cases?
Fonts: one man in Salerno a woman in Naples

SmHbRtC said...

Some people are responding well to treatments..Let's pray for the best...

Thanks to Google for this useful map.

Anonymous said...

Nice effort compiling these maps...also, here's another nice site I came across that aggregates various sources of info on swine flu:

Anonymous said...

two unconfirmed cases in New Mexico, one in Santa Fe County, one in Valencia County. Governor Bill Richardson gave a news conference at 5 p.m. MST

Anonymous said...

Not sure if you have seen this one but there is a good up to date map of H1N1 cases at

djienpel said...

This website shows you in real time how quickly swine flu is spreading.

Anonymous said...

We used Google Maps to. Check out our cool animated map that shows the spread of Swine Flu across the US.

Anonymous said...

check out for a dynamic, interactive map of swine flu base on henry niman's research.

Anonymous said...

Have there been any confirmed cases in Cancun?

Anonymous said...

you're missing out someof the confirmed cases,

forexample, some of the european countries and south korea

cheers mate

Unknown said...

The best tool/map is definitely this one:

It combines heatmap and finance-style analytics with news. Neat, fast, and up to date. just perfect

Nicky said...

Here is a school/business closures map of the Chicago area...,-87.916718&spn=0.589673,1.450195&z=10

Anonymous said...

Wow, great maps. Just wondering. I am in South Africa and we apparently have 2 confirmed cases of Swine Flu and yet it is not mentioned by WHO or you guys. Guess you either do not have the info or we are wrong - who the hell knows what info gets out of the country LOL.

Anonymous said...

I thinkt this spreads mainly panic. For example the guy in Switzerland turned out not to have the swine flu at all.
i think theres a certain limit to open source philosophy in an issue such as this.

Anonymous said... is also a good map to see the swine flu outbreak

Swine Flu Track 2009 Initiative said...

Share an interesting blog specialized in charting swine flu cases on a time horizon. You may see a trend there.

Head said...

Map we did by state for the AJC. Based off CDC confirmed case data. Very up to date.

Patricia said...

Thank you for all the detail, your map is helpful. We have been in Mexico for almost 8 months. If you like to see how we're avoiding the H1N1 virus ck out our blog:

Keep up the good work! PyB

Anonymous said...

The best map on swine influenza spread I've seen in on (the Spanish newspaper. A pity it's not daily updated.

Anonymous said...

not a map but interesting statistics :

astewart said...

If you like to see how Swin flu can quickly make its way through a city make a day by day map of Melbourne (Australia). being in the middle of winter (in melbourne) it spread quickly through Melbournes Northern Suburbs via Schools between Clifton Hill> Coburg> South Morang and Greensborough. Plenty Road & High Street became Swine Flu Highways now nearly 1,700 have it in melbourne with 5 dead. it would be a good study to see how you can expect it to expand in the Winter months in the Northern Hemosphere

Anonymous said...

there are 194 reported cases in ireland said RTE news.

Robert said...

thanks for sharing this map to us, there is a Hugh possibility to treat swine flu by herbal treatment.

EMR said...

It is sad that even with so much medical advancement nothing could be done to stop the flu.

Swine Flu Prevention Blog said...

Great blog, Must have taken a while to gather all that info. Awesome thanks.

santosh said...

great idea keep it up

Anonymous said...

We've also developed a symptoms-based map that tracks the spread of disease at local an global levels. Check it out at - we would love your feedback!