The work by Nature Magazine Senior Editor Declan Butler to share Avian Flu Outbreak data using Goolge Earth was enhanced this weekend. Declan has announced a network link which will automatically reflect his weekly updates. The underlying data is now based on ESRI’s ArcGIS software, and converted for Google Earth using Arc2Earth. For reference, Declan has provided an excellent (and quite colorful) poultry density map for the world to show the relation of cases reported to the population of poultry. And finally, you can visit the web page he has created which provides the link to the network link and also provides background information on the data. This new version replaces the version previously reported.
One thing the new data makes apparent is that the avian flu continues to spread. If you open the folders you can turn on the placemarks for each year since the flu was first reported. Someday Google Earth will have a feature allowing you to automatically reflect the time spread of data. For now, you’ll have to click the folders for each year on and off. The new Avian Flu tracker lets you easily distinguish between bird and human cases as well. This is an excellent example of using GIS data and visualizing it with GE. The authors of Arc2Earth have recently released a new walkthrough guide on how to convert GIS data for use with GE.