May 1, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
Google has launched an experimental Web site to help track Mexico's flu cases. It's experimental, because unlike the U.S. version, the Mexico data is not validated against actual CDC flu surveillance results, but is based on the idea that people who search for flu-related topics often have flu symptoms. An official Google blog posted Wednesday said that the research model filters out generic searches for swine flu. Perhaps surprisingly -- given the recent media attention to swine flu -- overall incidence of flu is lower than many past years even though there is an annual spike in flu at this time of year.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.