Synthesized population databases: A geospatial database of US poultry farms
Because they can spread to humans, infections and diseases in poultry and other livestock populations are of keen interest to public health officials. Officials need to plan for a rapid response, and to do so, they need information about where farms are located and how they cluster spatially. No public domain, nationwide database currently exists for actual farm locations. RTI researchers in coordination with University of Pennsylvania infectious disease modelers developed a new way to create a synthetic dataset that replicates the spatial distribution of poultry farms and the type and number of birds raised on them. The RTI method produced a more realistic dataset than the currently used random placement alternative. The results suggest the RTI method could be used to simulate other livestock farms of interest to infectious disease researchers.