GIS and Public Health

GIS And Public Health

Geographic information systems (GISs), or increasingly geographic information science (GIScience), centers around combining computer-mapping capabilities with additional database management and data analysis tools. Commercial GIS systems are very powerful and have touched many applications and industries, including environmental science, urban planning, agricultural applications, and others.

Public health is another focus area that has made increasing use of GIS techniques. A strict definition of public health is difficult to pin down, as it is used in different ways by different groups. In general, public health differs from personal health in that it is (1) focused on the health of populations rather than of individuals, (2) focused more on prevention than on treatment, and (3) operates in a mainly governmental (rather than private) context. These efforts fall naturally within the domain of problems requiring use of spatial analysis as part of the solution, and GIS and other spatial analysis tools are therefore recognized as providing potentially transformational capabilities for public health efforts.

This article presents some history of use of geographic information and geographic information systems in public health application areas, provides some examples showing the utilization of GIS techniques in solving specific public health problems, and finally addresses several potential issues arising from increased use of these GIS techniques in the public health arena.

Read more about GIS And Public HealthHistory, GIS For Public Health, Issues With GIS For Public Health, Summary

Other articles related to "gis and public health, gis, public health":

GIS And Public Health - Summary
... Use of GIS in public health is an application area still in its infancy ... outweigh the risks and the costs associated with this emerging application area for modern GIS techniques ...

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