Via The Guardian comes word of a news mapping system, Kazemill, which uses Twitter to map spread of illnesses. The system performs a real time search for geo-locatedTweets referring to various illnesses, then maps these out.
The company behind the project, McCann Healthcare Worldwide, is currently collaborating with SSP (a Japanese pharmaceutical company) to monitor 18,000 daily mentions of symptoms in Japan. These are visualized on a snazzy Flash map with various colours indicating the spread of each complaint – orange for itchy throat, purple for cough and red for fever.
The map is only available in Japanese at the moment, but there are plans to roll out the service to other countries.