Visualization to Help Stop Dengue Fever

Back in 1854, John Snow plotted cholera on a map to help prove that the outbreak could be traced back to a water pump.  Fast forward to 2011 in Lahore, Pakistan, and the same idea is being used to prevent the spread of the mosquito borne dengue fever.  The health team is allowing a smartphone app to record the presence of infected mosquito larvae, plotting this on a map, and then using this to help determine when to best spray.  It is a clever update of John Snow’s idea and shows the power in geographical visualization.

Dengue Tracking System from Technology Review

For  more information on this application, see the recent article in The Economist, Technology Review (which is where the map is from), or IRIN.

This type of visualization is also important in network design and important to business, in general, as Justin Holman, CEO of TerraSeer, points out.