Globalization and climate changes have increased the risk for emergence of animal diseases and zoonoses worldwide. Outbreaks of emerging animal diseases, particularly those harmful to humans (zoonoses), can cause considerable economic and social upheaval. Because of their possible devastating consequences, emerging disease outbreaks require prompt risk management decisions. Controlling emerging animal disease epidemics is very resource intensive and requires operational contingency plans, human resource development, facilitated information management, and controlled risk communication.
VETGEOTOOLS™ is a space-time information system that integrates all available data sources in one decision information environment. The system provides a framework for collecting new disease outbreak and back-tracing data, and conducting complex database queries that provide the necessary information for contingency planning and decision making. VETGEOTOOLS™ combines a relational database with a GIS server to allow an easily updatable space-time representation of the accumulated information, which can be disseminated to different users through web-services.