Google using search data to explore flu trends in the US

In a cool use of search data, Google’s philanthropic arm is tracking queries on illness and correlating it with geolocation data to trend flu activity in the US. The idea here is to try to predict flu trends faster than the CDC normally does based on their methodology. Google in turn works with the CDC to make this data available and useful.

You can find out how this all works by visiting Google’s Flu Trends site.

BTW, you can even download the raw data and toy with it yourself if you’d like.