Research & Analysis

Predicting Future Outbreaks

We are limited by data that is both spatially resolved to country-level as well as temporally resolved. That is one of the biggest strengths of GIDEON, as a lot of the time, we only have one or the other.

Dr. Tad A. Dallas
Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University

In November 2019, The Royal Society published an open-access, unfunded research “Testing predictability of disease outbreaks with a simple model of pathogen biography” written by three enthusiastic researchers – Dr. Tad A. Dallas, Dr. Colin J. Carlson, and Dr. Timothée Poisot.

To predict future outbreaks, they looked for patterns in the past, using the GIDEON dataset to create a model that was able to ‘capture pathogen outbreak and reemergence potential suggesting that these events are both recurrent and predictable’.

The Challenge


Embarking on a project, the team initially found it difficult to locate the right data source.

“There isn’t any cohesive narrative about where outbreaks happen. We used the GIDEON data because we thought it might be the most complete thing there is. I don’t think we could have modeled the data set we did without GIDEON data, for sure”, said Colin J. Carlson.

The GIDEON solution


GIDEON has a dedicated geographical distribution dataset for each Infectious Disease, which defines the endemic countries and provides country-specific notes as well as an in-depth analysis of global distribution.

The dataset helped Tad, Colin, and Timothee save months of time that would have otherwise been spent conducting manual research. The team produced a fantastic piece of work that challenges the status quo and suggests a new way of thinking.

The data available through GIDEON made the research and predictive modeling possible, and the study proved the disease outbreaks model to be effective.
GIDEON data on historical outbreaks goes back to 1348 AD, offering researchers unparalleled insight
GIDEON advantages
REST API with R wrapper for streamlined data consumption

GIDEON API is designed to help retrieve data programmatically, which is especially useful when working with data modeling. The R wrapper allows epidemiologists to query the database using a familiar environment.

Interactive maps

GIDEON renders interactive maps of disease distribution and outbreaks.

Millions of data points, covering 235 geographical areas

GIDEON provides an in-depth analysis of global disease spread. The database provides information on 28,000+ historical outbreaks and cross-border events, 100,000+ surveys, and 24,000+ country-specific notes.

Updated every day by a team of experts

GIDEON is curated by a team of highly regarded medical scientists who are updating the database daily.