Google has ploughshared a resource it has in abundance into a product that we can all use.

The Internet search giant has started analyzing search queries for keywords associated with illnesses to produce a ‘Flu Map’ of America.

The map offers a general Flu risk rating if you mouse over your state. But you can also get details for your state including past year flu incidence graphs and specific date for the current year, to date. Tech types can download the raw data and interpret it for themselves.

The Flu Trends Web site also incorporates an informative ‘How does this work?’ page which goes into some detail about how the Goggle Flu Trends (GFT) system works and notes, with pride, that GFT results have consistently and accurately anticipated official flu forecasts from the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) but at least two weeks. And Google had worked its search query records back to 2003 to prove it.

There’s also an extensive collection of FAQs which provides a lot of useful background on the annual flu threat.

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