How GIS has changed our world

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Health 2.0 Developer Challenge!

Health 2.0 announced this week that it launched its first Health 2.0 Developers World Cup in which teams of developers, innovators, and entrepreneurs worldwide will compete in code-a-thons to build applications and tools that improve healthcare. The winners from each coding competition will face-off in San Francisco at the 6th Annual Fall Health 2.0 Conference for the Developers World Cup title. All finalists will receive free passes to the conference and a travel stipend. The winning team will receive a $10,000 cash prize, the opportunity to showcase their winning product on the main stage of the conference, and international visibility as world champions.

For more information, click here.

Information taken directly from: Directions Magazine

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

New Jersey Hospital Mortality Rates

The New Jersey Department of Health rated 72 major hospitals across the state according to the number of deaths per 100 patients for pneumonia, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure, and mapped the rates on a map.

Source: NJ Spotlight

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Google Improves Biking Directions

In March 2010 Google introduced biking directions that shares biking directions with cyclists across the U.S and Canada. Since no bike path is the same, now users can differentiate the different types of bike routes that are available. Now a new legend feature can help you understand what the different colors on the bike maps symbolize.

  • Dark green is for dedicated trails and paths
  • Light green is for roads with dedicated lanes
  • Dotted green is for roads that are friendly for cyclists

To see the site, click here.

Source: Google LatLong

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Clean Up America with Google Maps

Pick Up America’s mission is to pick up trash across the country and, in the process, educate, and encourage a transition toward zero waste. Their homepage features a Google Map showing the route of their clean-up tour, upcoming events, and links to blog posts about events already completed.

Source: Google Maps Mania

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

EPA Releases New Tool on Water Pollution Across the U.S.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of a new tool that provides the public with important information about pollutants that are released into their local waterways.  The Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool brings together millions of records and allows for easy searching and mapping of water pollution by local area, watershed, company, industry sector, and pollutant. Developed under President Obama’s transparency initiative, Americans can use this new tool to protect their health and the health of their local communities.

Source: EPA

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Missouri Health Data

The Missouri Hospital Association launched The site contains quality of care and patient satisfaction data filtered through GIS technology with hospital specific information.

The reports contain the same data as reported to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services with an interface is more user-friendly and locally-focused. It uses ArcGIS Explorer Online.

Source: Columbia Tribune

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Health gap between north and south in British Columbia

The second edition of the online British Columbia Atlas of Wellness shows that the northerners are more likely to smoke, eat unhealthy food, and die sooner than their counterparts in Vancouver and Victoria.

Source: Times Colonist

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Comparing Maps of Car Travel and Obesity

An article examined visually, through a series of maps, the association between obesity, diabetes, and sedentary transportation.

The authors, Anne Price and Ariel Godwin, conclude, “the relationship between sedentary travel and health outcomes can be misleading when additional contributing factors are not taken into account. While it is not our intent to claim a direct causal link between transportation modes and obesity rates, it is hard to deny the existence of some geographic patterns.”

Source: Planetizen

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Harvard provides web platform for data sharing

Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis developed and released WorldMap, a cloud-based open source software platform aimed to make publishing and sharing maps, and other geospatial data easier.

The system is designed to support the research process, allowing information to initially be made private, before being opened to larger groups for refinement, and finally to be published or released to the public.

Source: Harvard

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Top 10 Developments in Health IT in 2011

Dr. Farzad Mostashari from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology  released a list of the top 10 developments in health IT in 2011.

To see the list, click here.

Source: Nextgov

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.


Legionnaire’s disease outbreak in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin a Legionnaire’s disease outbreak started, but geography and good surveillance came to the rescue. Thomas Haupt, an epidemiologist for the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, explains how the disease was tracked to a hospital waterfall.

“Well, it started off with our routine surveillance for Legionnaires’ disease in Wisconsin. We did notice that within a four week period in this small area we had at least eight cases of Legionnaires’ disease. Our follow-up is to ask questions as to where they may have been in the 10 days prior to their onset of illness. At least six of the patients identified that they had been in one particular hospital,” says Thomas.

Source: NPR

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

GIS helps minimize dengue fever

In Curacao, GIS is helping health workers keep track of efforts to minimize dengue fever. Reports of breeding grounds and the levying of fines against those not taking care in prevention were recorded.

Source: Amigoe

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

CDC Offers Interactive GIS for AIDS

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a new interactive web tool, the NCHHSTP Atlas, that allows users to create maps, charts, and tables using HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease (STD) data collected by CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP).

The new web tool also offers data for a number of diseases (AIDS, HIV, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary and secondary syphilis and more to come) for 2000 to 2009.

To see the site, click here.

Source: Blog

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Study: Brains Like North Best Because Maps Do

Published in Psychological Science, a new study  recasts how we make geographic sense of our “home town.” In the study, 26 residents of Tübingen were put into a virtual-reality headset. As the scenes changed, so did the participant’s spatial orientation.  Participants drawing maps performed most accurately when facing north and got worse the further they deviated from north.

For more information, click here.

Source: Medical Xpress

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Congressional Support Maps for SOPA & PIPA!

Today is a day of widespread protests against the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Major websites like Wikipedia and Boing Boing have gone dark all day, while other giants like Google have made announcements on their pages about the protest.

There is a map showing Congressional support and opposition for H.R. 3261 (SOPA) and a PIPA map showing support and opposition in congress for S. 968.

Source: GIS Lounge

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Colorado schools proximity to medical marijuana facilities mapped

As many as 56 medical marijuana facilities in Colorado are located within 1,000 feet of a school, according to an I-News analysis. The school addresses and licenses issued had more than 700 medical marijuana facilities statewide. Federal and state laws require a 1000 foot buffer. Now the government is cracking down as they recently did in California. The analysis used GIS.


Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Daily Chart: Natural Disasters

The Economist “Daily Chart” displays a map showing the costliest natural disasters since 1980. They note the general trend of deaths have clearly declined,adjusting for the growth of population. However, “[e]conomic costs, though, are rising as people and industrial activity cluster in disaster-prone areas such as river deltas and earthquake fault lines,” according to The Economist. 

To read the article, click here.

Source: The Economist

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

World Bank and Google working together to empower mapping for disaster relief

Today Google and the World Bank announced a collaborative agreement aimed to improve disaster preparedness and development efforts in countries around the world.

Under this agreement, the World Bank will act as a conduit to make Google Map Maker source data more widely and easily available to government organizations in the event of major disasters, improving planning, management, and monitoring of public health provisions and other services.

This free, web-based mapping tool called Google Map Maker enables citizens to directly participate in the creation of maps by contributing their local knowledge. Once approved, those additions are then reflected on Google Maps and Google Earth for others to see around the world.

Including detailed maps of more than 150 countries and regions, the Google Map Maker identifies locations like schools, hospitals, roads, settlements and water points that are critical for relief workers and public health professions to know about in times of crisis. It will also be useful for planning purposes, as governments and their development partners can use the information to monitor public services, infrastructure and development projects; make them more transparent for NGOs, researchers, and individual citizens; and more effectively identify areas of greater risk for assistance before a disaster strikes.

For more information, click here.

Source: Google Lat Long Blog

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Malaria Logistics Map

Hokey Min of the College of Business Administration, at Bowling Green State University, explored Africa’s maralia problem through logistics. He developed a comprehensive supply chain map that reveals the labyrinths of African logistics infrastructure, distribution channels, government regulations and business customs.

This could improve access to anti-malarial drugs as well as avoiding disruption to the drug supply chain. The paper appeared in the  International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management.

Source: Kruger Park News

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Health care resources for uninsured mapped in Colorado

The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, an advocacy group for health care reform, launched a new website with an interactive map to help the uninsured find care around the state.

Source: Chieftain

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Where you live increases risk of heart attack

A study in Toronto from St. Michael’s Hospital determined where you live has an impact on your likelihood of having a heart attack.  The study concluded neighborhoods with the highest household incomes and higher levels of education were associated with lower risk.

From 2006-2010, the study traced 5,656 participants, all 20 or older, who had experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Toronto.

Source: 680 News

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Prices for prescription drugs compared geographically

A project called streetRx maps the price of prescription drugs across the United States. Users can submit reports  of what they paid for their prescription drug as well as search for the best prices in their area. Created by Radars System, the site is intended to enable real-time collection of street price data on pharmaceutical controlled substances.

For more information on the project, click here.

To go to the site, click here.

Source: streetRx

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Philippines fund for disaster mitigation

Philippine President Aquino directed the release of 1.6 billion Philippine Peso to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to improve the government’s disaster planning and response system with new state-of-the-art technology .

Under the Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment and Mitigation Project (DREAM), the department will acquire geospatial data gathering technologies, particularly Light Intensity Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and Airborne Radar Interferometry (INSAR) to produce more accurate flood inundation maps. This will identify future flood prone areas and be useful in rescue and relief operations.

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

FIG Foundation Academic Research Grants 2012

FIG is offering acadmic grants in areas related to geospatial research to those who qualify for the designated countries. Proposals are due January 15th!

For more information, click here.

Source: FIG

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.


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