I am looking for a downloadable database of disease statistics. I have emailed the good folks over at HealthMap, but they haven't gotten back to me yet.

As far as I can tell, their data relevant to my project is gathered from the World Health Organisation, ProMED Mail, GeoSentinel, Google News, Moreover, Baidu and SOSO.

I can scrape the data from each of these sites and aggregate it in the same way HealthMap has, but that is a large project in and of itself, and I only have a couple of months for this not-for-profit project.

Do you know of a downloadable worldwide database of disease statistics?

  • $\begingroup$ I assume the html spreadsheet produced by List View Only and Advanced Search on HealthMap is not granular enough? $\endgroup$
    – Chris K
    Jan 31 '12 at 16:52

I took a quick peek and HealthMap and their JavaScripts are publicly viewable. As such, I believe cross site scripting would be quite feasible. In other words, call their JavaScripts from a page you develop on your server to create a feed of the data you want.

In this way, minimal effort on your part could leverage their data scraping efforts. If you're adding your own data then you're basically doing a Mashup.

That said, my concern with doing this is potentially violating their copyright. I would email them saying if their database is not available then you wish to use cross site scripting to access this data for your project, and unless they let you know otherwise by (specific date) you will assume this is acceptable.

I'm not a lawyer, so use this advice at your own risk. =)

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Fortunately the Head of HealthMap got back to me yesterday, and we are currently in negotiations. However, it is good to have this fallback, so thanks. +1 $\endgroup$
    – A T
    Feb 1 '12 at 11:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Excellent news! - HealthMap are opening up a JSON API for us to use =D $\endgroup$
    – A T
    Feb 15 '12 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ In general it's always better to politely ask and wait for a reply. Cross-site scripting means you are using their bandwidth so you should only do that if you have permission. $\endgroup$
    – nico
    Apr 30 '12 at 7:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.