[Health] XO health portal idea (in development)

Chris Leonard cjlhomeaddress at gmail.com
Mon Jun 30 12:58:05 EDT 2008

Dear Colleagues,

I am cross-posting this to health, library and localization lists for what I
hope will become obvious reasons.  I've had an idea kicking around in my
head for a while and I've finally had some time to begin fleshing it out.
Please see
for more details.

The basic idea is to harvest and re-package a nicely-organized set of
high-quality health topic content from the U.S. National Institutes of
Health, National Library of Medicine's MedLinePlus web-page (only the public
domain content though, unfortunately some of the really good stuff (like
images and encyclopedia) is licensed to NLM by other content providers and
not available for re-packaging.

To simulate the experience I am hoping to achieve with this off-line bundle,
go to this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/all_healthtopics.html

and navigate ONE layer deep.

or for the higher level indexing I want to preserve, go to this page:

and navigate TWO layers deep.

This much of the content is public-domain, high-quality, and with really
useful higher-level indexing by body system, etc.), all of those features
can be preserved.  The goal is to improve it's structuring for i18n and l10n
and to facilitate it's downstream modification/adaptation by local
healthcare workers (e.g. MinHealth) or educators (e.g. MinEd) by using
simple HTML pages and a readily understood structure along with a "How to
update the XO Health Portal" manual.

The portal idea (although seeded at first with NLM-derived content) would
also be a suitable framework from which to hang nearly any relevant HTML
friendly content (possibly including PDF).  I already have my eye on some
content from UNESCO ( http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Children's_Health_Books )
and there is much yet to be mined from the WHO and PAHO web-sites.

I have perhaps gone to the extreme in trying to document the ongoing process
of harvesting and modifying this content on the Health Portal (and linked
sub-pages).  My intent is to make this an example for other content
harvesting and repackaging efforts, one could easily imagine a variety of
other topics developed in a similar overall organization tree (one or two
levels of indexing, followed by lots of individual pages) and employing
similar tools (mostly simple HTML).

I would welcome any comments you might have, ideally on the wiki talk pages
(I'm working at this a bit asynchronously, so I may not be able to quickly
respond to e-mail, You can often find me on various IRC channels including
#olpc-content and #olpc-health).  I have tried to lay out the overall
process clearly enough so that it could be replicated.  I'm still crunching
away on the parsing of the 750-odd topic pages into a lang-en bundle and
most of them are already translated into Spanish on the MedLinePlus site, so
there will be a quick start to lang-es l10n available one I work through
some more details of how I want to structure the overall site and the
individual pages.

Some feedback from the localization folks comparing the merits of the
various HTML - to - po tools would be welcome as that is shaping up to be
the next big challenge step for this effort.



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