Google And Off Launch Mosquito Prediction Tool

Google and SC Johnson, maker of the repellent brand Off, have teamed up to create a forecasting tool to help consumers deal with one of summer’s most notorious pests: mosquitoes.

Nicknamed the De! Jeter, the tool leverages geospatial and data analytics technologies from Google Cloud, as well as SC Johnson’s experience controlling mosquitoes, which carry a host of diseases. The tool displays the projected size of a mosquito population in a given area based on postal code.

The search giant said Off! Cast marks the first technology platform to make mosquito forecasts available to the public. The service will initially be limited to the United States, but will roll out to Brazil and Mexico in the near future. Maude Meier, an entomologist at SC Johnson, said in a press release that the combination of science and technology will help prevent insect-borne diseases.

Google Earth Engine will feed billions of weather data points into an algorithm co-developed with the SC Johnson Institute for Insect Science and Family Health and Climate Engine to estimate mosquito population data. This data is then fed to a model to create a color-coded seven-day forecast. (The Off! Cast site is owned and operated by SC Johnson, which uses it to advertise Off-brand mosquito repellent products.)

Mosquitoes infect 700 million people a year with diseases such as zika, malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever, leading to over a million deaths. Scientists say global warming could help mosquito populations explode. Google and SC Johnson say preventative data models are the best way to shape human behavior to prevent the spread of infection.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a health condition or health goals.

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