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The BioPortal project was initiated in 2003 by the University of Arizona Artificial Intelligence Lab and its collaborators in the New York State Department of Health and the California Department of Health Services to develop an infectious disease surveillance system. The project has been sponsored by NSF, DHS, DoD, Arizona Department of Health Services, and Kansas State University's BioSecurity Center, under the guidance of a federal inter-agency working group named the Infectious Disease Informatics Working Committee (IDIWC). Its partners include all the original collaborators as well as the USGS, University of California, Davis, University of Utah, the Arizona Department of Health Services, Kansas State University, and the National Taiwan University.

The BioPortal system provides distributed, cross-jurisdictional access to datasets concerning several major infectious diseases, and including Botulism, West Nile Virus, foot-and-mouth disease, live stock syndromes. Figure 9-1 shows the BioPortal system architecture. This portal system provides Web-based access to a variety of distributed infectious disease data sources including hospital ED free-text chief complaints (both in English and Chinese) as well as other epidemiological data. It features advanced spatial-temporal data analysis methods that include industry standard hotspot analysis algorithms and in-house developed innovative clustering-based techniques for retrospective and prospective data analysis. The analyses results are displayed via Spatio-Temporal Visualizer (STV). BioPortal also supports analysis and visualization of lab-generated gene sequence information. Its social network analysis module can be used to aid in the understanding of infectious disease transmission processes.