The Guardian on swine flu – more accurate than crowdsourcing alone?

The Guardian is using Twitter as a way of publicising its efforts to bring an up to date viewpoint on swine flu.  It is taking information from a number of sources:

We’re listing every case, as it’s reported, either by the World Health Organisation, the US Centers for Disease Control or the mainstream press wires and reports. There are some caveats: not all of these cases have been confirmed as swine flu in the lab; the dates in the spread sheet are mostly the dates they have been reported in the media, not the dates reported to the medical authorities. But as this progresses, we will try to do more with this and get more info – and any ideas, let us know.

This also forms part of their new work – Open Platform and Data Store – to share their figures with the public to mash up as they please.

whitespace
This moderated but open form of journalism is how things are progressing at the Guardian…

We’ve cross-referenced these figures repeatedly – let us know if you would like to see anything else

…and seems to be more accurate than the pure crowdsourced material alone.  For example, returning to my first Google Map source of information , it is not currently showing any cases in New Zealand:

flunewzealand
The Guardian’s figures show New Zealand as having 44 suspected cases, 16 lab confirmed cases, with 1 case withdrawn.  On their visualisation shows it as:

flunewzealand2
… although updating the graphic is a manual process rather than automatic…

The data here is being updated at a faster rate than the interactive graphic – so keep refreshing the page for latest figures.

… so for the most up to date view you have to do the most journalistic of practices and look at the source material.

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