The Long-Term Potential of Geographical Information Systems for Epidemiology
This chapter makes a brief assessment of the possible use of geographical information systems (GIS) in answering questions of health and the environment from the point of view of epidemiology. Health service planning is not dealt with, except as a baseline against which the needs of epidemiologists using GIS are compared. The initial discussion is about the contribution that spatial epidemiology itself can make, as a subject, irrespective of what actual tools are used. GIS is proposed as the most appropriate way of providing a tool-kit with the necessary features. The chapter goes on to suggest four key requirements of a GIS for epidemiologists, and looks at how well current GIS meet the needs as well as how easily the gap between the ideal and the (currently) feasible can be closed by judicious use of the existing features of GIS. Finally, the chapter outlines the necessary changes and developments in GIS technology that are needed to enable GIS to live up to their long-term potential.
KeywordsGeographical Information System Geographical Information System Childhood Cancer Geographical Information System Package Health Service Planning
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