Making sense of flu distribution

Boy do I love computer scientists.  First, Google tracks the swine flu with aggregated search data. Now the NY Times highlights two computer models that use air traffic and commuter data and dollar bills tracked via Where’s George? (no love for Where’s Willy?).

Readers, anyone see any other interesting tracking models?

The Northwestern Institute model was pretty close with its prediction of 150 to 170 cases by yesterday (the CDC has confirmed 226). Both models see 2,000 to 2,500 cases four weeks out, not exactly a sky is falling scenario. Still, I think WHO head Margeret Chan was prudent to say, “I’m not predicting the pandemic will blow up, but if I miss it and we don’t prepare, I fail. I’d rather over-prepare than not prepare.”