Google Takes on Zika Virus With Mapping Project to Visualize Outbreaks

How the search engine giant is helping to curb the spread of Zika.

The search engine giant announced several initiatives today to help combat the virus, including an open-source mapping platform and more detailed information for people searching about the mosquito-borne virus.

Google's volunteer engineers, designers and data scientists are joining UNICEF to build an open-source platform that can help visualize potential Zika outbreaks. The map will draw on data from various sources, including weather and travel patterns to help provide a visualization of potential outbreaks.

"Ultimately, the goal of this open source platform is to identify the risk of Zika transmission for different regions and help UNICEF, governments and NGO’s decide how and where to focus their time and resources," Google's announcement said, referring to non-governmental organizations. "This set of tools is being prototyped for the Zika response, but will also be applicable to future emergencies."

Google also announced a $1 million grant for UNICEF to be used for mosquito eradication, vaccine development, and awareness campaigns.