This new feature combines the locations that study subjects were studied in and the external ontology known as Gazetteer (http://bioportal.bioontology.org/ontologies/1397). Gazetteer represents geographic locations in a formal ontological hierarchy. The IEDB's Geographic Location Finder was created by taking the geographic locations mentioned in the manuscripts containing data curated by the IEDB and presenting them in the formal ontological hierarchy of Gazetteer. Thus, every geographic location in the Finder links out to a GAZ ID, where additional information provided by Gazetteer such as definitions and synonyms can be found.
To use the Finder, simply navigate the tree by clicking open the continent of choice to find the country(ies) where study subjects were exposed to the immunogen tested in the immune epitope assays. Alternatively, one may use the "Find" feature and type free text to search the tree. The Find feature accepts synonyms as search criteria. Its use is shown in the figure for the term “Mexico”.
It must be noted that curators only capture geographic location information when authors explicitly state that subjects were recruited in a specific country. The location of authors' affiliations is not used to populate this field.