ATRO, Als Tiedonkeruu RObotti (Als Information Gathering Robot in English) is an application for collecting ALS related information from public sources. The data is collected for the different kind of analysis purposes to be developed later, especially for relational visualization described elsewhere in this website.
Somebody may ask a question, is there any sense to program an another web crawler? Why an another database tool additional e.g. pubmed searching utilities etc. The answer is simple: the purpose of playing big picture data is to identify something new, which can be hidden in the weak links and relations. Search utilities already offered are sometimes awesome, but customization and automation needed to separate clues from noise is a bit harder task, and doing a crawler utilizing existing data stores is small investment against the possibility to customize the toolset against real needs. And yes, somebody has done this already, but probably it is done in the middle of walls of medic companies, which seldom offer their tools or results as an open source for further development.
The second thing is the resources, which are so far very limited. Thanks to Oulu University TOL (greetings to Sanja & Tonja!) we have got a group of four awesome students for implementing the first step POC and background job for technology choises: Joona, Joni, Jussi & Miikka. Currently they are starting their work as a part of the IT project management course, and I have suggested that it might be nice if they keep a some kind of devblog within these pages.
So, what we are actually doing is something like web3.0 🙂 Totally open source, content based work, but compared for commercial 2.0, not for money but for better future.
– mika, technology fellow