Workshop on GIS and Public Health
GIS, or geographic information systems, are computer-based tools used to store, visualize, analyze, and interpret geographic data. Geographic data (also called spatial, or geospatial data) identifies the geographic location of features. These data include anything that can be associated with a location on the globe, or more simply anything that can be mapped. New diseases and epidemics spread through the world’s population every year.
The discipline of medical geographic information systems (GIS) provides a strong framework for our increasing ability to monitor these diseases and identify their causes. The field of medical geography has a much longer history than most are aware of, dating back to the first known doctor, Hippocrates, and progressing through the 1900s until today. The early history leads us to the examination of contemporary examples of GIS, influences on public health, space-time mapping components, and the future of this discipline supported by Big Data. The evolution of medical GIS from early disease maps to digital maps is a journey long in the making, and continues to evolve. These maps have enabled us to gain insight about diseases ranging from cholera to cancer, all while increasing the knowledge of worldwide health issues. As modern technology continues to thrive, medical GIS will remain a lasting approach for understanding populations and the world we live in.
Prof. Dr. Biju Soman, MD, DPH, MSc, DLSHTM
Additional Professor & i-Health Specialist
Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala.
Mr. Radhakrishnan T, MSc, MTech
Assistant Professor & Geo-Informatics Specialist
Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management – Kerala (IIITM-K), Technopark, Trivandrum. Kerala