H1N1 Swine Flu in Google Earth

There have been many maps being shared showing locations of suspected and confirmed cases of Swine Flu in the last couple of days. See GoogleMapsMania for a string of posts on different maps using Google Maps. Of the maps I’ve seen so far, the one by Google Maps user Niman (who has a profile that says ‘Biomedical Research, Pittsburgh, PA USA) seems to do the best job. View it in Google Maps here, or even better – view it in Google Earth (where you can see all the points at once and it automatically updates via the network link). Purple means confirmed cases, pink suspected, and yellow are negative cases (not swine flu).

Swine Flu Map in Google Earth

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. This thing sure is spreading quickly! I’m not sure that these maps do much for the public other than increase hysteria, but it seems like the health authorities (CDC, etc) should be watching them and attempting to stop the spread of swine flu before it can become the pandemic we keep hearing about.
    Seeing overlays and maps like this makes me wish I had enrolled in my GIS degree programs at American Sentinel University far earlier! I can’t wait to graduate and start actually applying the techniques I’ve learned to similar future applications.
    Why doesn’t the CDC have GIS-related maps that track infectious diseases already in place? How hard would it be to drop a couple million into their budget to get this established- it seems to be a necessity to me, especially in the era of bird flu, SARS, swine flu, and all these other “mysterious” diseases

  2. This website http://www.swine-flu-tracker.com/ shows you in real time how quickly swine flu is spreading.

  3. Hengist says:

    I have had a look at Niman´s map and I am not impressed. There are some obvious mapping howlers – for example, the Korean data aggregation point (at the time of writing) is sited over Saigon (Vietnam) on the general map (puzzlingly, it is properly placed over Korea at higher levels of zoom). Data for Catalonia (Spain) seem to show no relation to actual locations.
    I also wonder whether aggregated snapshot data are of any real value. To my mind, it should be possible to walk the map through user-determined time intervals to see the emerging picture and disease spread. This time feature is something the Google boys might like to consider. A time stamp could become an intrinsic part of certain mapping processes, just as GPS co-ordinates are.
    There is also another obvious limitation, though it is not one that can be laid at Dr. Niman’s door. Africa – “The Dark Continent” – remains an almost complete blank, showing virtually no cases. Two reasons for this occur to me: (1) the precarious state of health systems and disease reporting in Africa; (2) the host of endemic tropical diseases producing flu-like symptoms.

  4. Here are two more maps of H1N1 Flu, using Google Earth:
    1. World H1N1 Flu. It maps the confirmed cases and deaths, using data from WHO.
    2. H1N1 Flu in North America. It maps the confirmed cases and deaths, using data fom CDC.
    In both maps, a “C” symbol denotes case and a “D” symbol denotes death. A location with a higher stack of symbols denotes more cases or deaths.

  5. It’s a good thing Google Maps is being used to cover documented cases of swine flu. The next step now is prevention. Perhaps at some point, technology will even help us to predict where it will hit next.

  6. I was wondering this map only.If you actually look at the map, you will notice that there hasn’t been one death in the US yet, all of them have happened in Mexico. i think this speaks wonders for out health care compared to Mexico.

  7. That’s great! I think the danger of maps like this are that they can cause a panic by posting reports that are inaccurate or unconfirmed. I can’t see any source attribution attached to these map markers which makes me very suspicious. If anyone can confirm that this is indeed info from the CDC or WHO, I’d like to be see it.

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