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Right now I'm refering to the project as 'Infection Control'. It is not catchy, I agree, but it does sum up the intentions quite well. So for a lack of a better name, it will continue to be called that for the time being.

In the past few days I've accomplished quite a bit. The core functionality is not done, but some of the outlying features have come quite a way.

Below I've broken down the project into the most elementary functional units.


This last week I came down with one of those 'everyone is going to get it' colds. Luckily this roaming strain only kept most people out of work for 2 days at most. In the height of the sickness, I had a thought. Why hasn't someone created a warning system for these epidemic like colds? I, for one, would have appreciated knowing that everyone was contagious.

So this is where the idea came from.


The project's goal is to allow users to watch for flares of ailments and to take precautions so that they may not miss work or pass diseases on to loved ones. What I believe sets this project apart is the speed of updates and diseases covered.

The CDC has a similar application but with the shortcomings that I plan to address. Their system is not directly user reported and only covers the Flu.


To keep submission easy, I'd like to keep the input process as simple as possible. Data will be entered through a standard HTML form.

Five elements of information is the most that I want users to have to enter. In the K.I.S. mindset, so far I have:

  • Zip code
  • Symptoms displayed
  • Household size

Future data elements might include:

  • Taking any corrective medications, i.e. antibiotics?
  • Seen provider yet?
  • Length since symptoms began?


I'd like to make the output as graphical as possible. The main reason being to keep this simple and intuitive.

The main element of output will be a map of the user's surrounding areas. The map will be a thematic map showing the degree of symptoms reported.

The above map is all that is planned for the first iteration. Ideas for future iterations include:

  • Showing the velocity of symptoms
  • Emailing alerts based on user criteria

Progress So Far

  • Input
    • None so far

  • Output
    • Chosen Google Maps to display output map
    • Generated county boundaries based on US Census GPS data
    • Dynamically displayed Counties in varying colors within Google Maps

Outside Links

Project hosting: Infection Control @ Google Code

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Jon Dowdle

Jon Dowdle currently works on the internet at a lovely place called InVision.



Jon Dowdle's Blog

The personal blog of Jon Dowdle.

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