Information outbreak: A web-crawling system is providing vital, up-to-date data on the global spread of disease – including swine flu

Clusters of yellow and orange markers hover over a satellite image of the Earth, each representing a reported outbreak of disease. This is the screen that greets visitors to HealthMap, a near real-time web-crawling system that gathers and organises data from news sources, official alerts, online databases and blogs, overlaying it on to a Google map.

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