Greece: Sickweather.com, an online map and mobile application that displays areas where certain types of illnesses are prevalent, was launched as an effort to illustrate the spread of disease on a platform similar to weather prediction services. “We’re using Twitter and Facebook’s application programming interface to search for different keywords and phrases related to illnesses. It’s the first time that this anecdotal information in social media has really been given a platform for people to see what’s been going on in their area,” said Graham Dodge, Sickweather co-founder.
Dodge’s database achieves precision by using in-sentence context to determine if a Facebook post or tweet mentioning words like ‘fever’ or ‘cough’ is actually related to illness. Then, Sickweather records the location from which the post was published on an online map. It gives people a way of preparing for sickness in the same way they would prepare for weather conditions.