Wednesday, June 28, 2006

H5N1 Avian Flu GIS & Migratory Bird Flyways

As is to be expected, one of the most popular GIS requests that I have received lately (especially last Spring semester) are data resources concerning the H5N1 Wild Bird flu virus. There are some great resources out there, the best that I am aware of I will list below.

Earlier this summer, a student researching the epidemiology of the virus needed a shapefile of the common worldwide migratory bird flyways. I was unable to locate such a shapefile. If someone knows of such an available file (free or not) out there, please leave a comment here to let me know about it. However, we were able to locate several static maps (images) of migratory bird flyways. I advised the student on how to georeference and digitize such a static map to create a feature class. Unfortunately I have not heard back from the student since then so I do not know if they were successful.

Just last week, the Introduction to GIS course that I am teaching came to the section on georeferencing and digitizing. Instead of using a historical (scanned) map of Texas for the class exercise as I normally assign, they worked on creating a feature class of the migratory bird flyways shown on the H5N1 outbreaks in 2005 and major flyways of migratory birds map. This map was created by the UN: Food and Agriculture Organization.

Here is the best digitized migratory bird path of the lot. (Yes, the student gave permission for her files to be uploaded.)
Additional key H5N1 avian flu resources (that I am aware of):I know there must be all sorts of other great resources out there, but the sources I listed above has suited all of my needs thus far.


C.C. Miller said...

The UN's World Conservation Monitoring Center, (part of the Environment Programme) has some world bird data available in a WMS service. Or did at some point: I can't get at it right now, so I can't say much about what's there and if it's available for offline use in any way. All I remember is that there are many services available and it might be hard to choose which one. My bookmark came from MapDex, so maybe searching there will work.

mapz said...

CC, thank you for that tip!

Yes, I did find the server (I think) that you were talking about.

Service: AEWA
Interactive Map

They provide detailed flyway routes for specific avian species. Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Hey, great stuff. Im working a a GIS project on the avian flu for school, and this data helped out a ton. Thanks!

mapz said...

Anonymous, I'm glad this was useful for you!

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Hi mapz!

I'm a university student from Singapore and currently doing a research project on using spatial diffusion model with GIS to analyze the movement of Avian Influenza disease spreading.

I'm looking for Avian Flu disease data for GIS. However I can't get any from the internet out there. I have a few questions to ask. Do you think you could help me with this?

You can contact me at

Thank you so much!

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Unknown said...

Hi mapz:
Thank you very much to make the migratory bird flyways digitalized and share it in your blog. However, (maybe it has been too many years) when I attempted to open the link of the resources (kml/geodatabase/shp), it turns to be "404 - File or directory not found.(The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.)".
Till today, this resource is not available online except your blog. I would appreciate it if you could send the files to me by e-mail:
Thanks again!

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Usman said...

Hi, I need only the Migratory birds flyway shapefile but provided links are not working. Can you please fix the links or again share it. It'll be a great help for me.

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