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Volume 15, Number 5—May 2009

Synopsis

Use of Unstructured Event-Based Reports for Global Infectious Disease Surveillance

Mikaela KellerComments to Author , Michael Blench, Herman Tolentino, Clark C. Freifeld, Kenneth D. Mandl, Abla Mawudeku, Gunther Eysenbach, and John S. Brownstein
Author affiliations: Harvard–Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (M. Keller, C.C. Freifeld, K.D. Mandl, J.S. Brownstein); Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston (M. Keller, C.C. Freifeld, K.D. Mandl, J.S. Brownstein); Harvard Medical School, Boston (M. Keller, C.C. Freifeld, K.D. Mandl, J.S. Brownstein); Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (M. Blench, A. Mawudeku); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (H. Tolentino); University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (G. Eysenbach); University Health Network, Toronto (G. Eysenbach)

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Table

Characteristics of 3 primary systems that process event-based informal data sources*

System Data sources (languages) Data characterization Information formatting Data dissemination
Access User interface Format
GPHIN Factiva, Al Bawaba (9 languages) Automatic and human Categorization, machine translation, geocoded Subscription only Boolean and metadata query system (native) Email alert
HealthMap Google News, Moreover, ProMED, WHO, EuroSurveillance (4 languages) Automatic Categorization, geocoded, time coded, extra information Open Mapping, faceted browsing (native) RSS feed
EpiSPIDER ProMED, GDACS, CIA Factbook (English only) Automatic Categorization, geocoded, time coded, extra information Open Web exhibits, faceted browsing (imported) RSS, JSON, KML feeds

*GPHIN, Global Public Health Intelligence Network; WHO, World Health Organization; RSS, Really Simple Syndication; EpiSPIDER, Semantic Processing and Integration of Distributed Electronic Resources for Epidemics (and disasters); GDACS, Global Disaster Alert Coordinating System; CIA, Central Intelligence Agency; JSON, JavaScript object notation; KML, keyhole markup language.

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