Declan Butler, a nature and science reporter, has compiled an example of the power that is now in the hands of individuals. Using commercially available software and data from an Excel spreadsheet and Google Earth, he has created an interactive map tracing the spread of Avian Flu in birds and humans from September 2003 - April 2006.
Butler details the process on his blog.
As Tim O'Reilly writes in his post How to Prepare for a Pandemic:
It's easy to dismiss ideas like these as unnecessarily alarmist. But I'm a big fan of the idea from scenario planning that the goal is not to get the future "right", but rather to imagine enough challenging eventualities that you build a strategy that is robust in the face of a range of possible futures.