Map of Evacuation Routes in Houston, TX

Please check out this map I created using ArcGIS. It details areas in Houston, Texas that are at-risk during an evacuation.

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Click on the following link for more information about the map! https://noorg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=8747f88810524c40bf7122fbbd759a42

Do Socioeconomic Factors Influence Texans’ Decision to Get Vaccinated? – A cartographic Approach

Texas has one of the highest vaccination rates for childhood diseases overall, 97.4%, according to CDC. But the number of children not vaccinated because of their parents’ “personal beliefs”—as opposed to medical reasons—has risen since 2003, when such exemptions were introduced, to more than 44,000 so far in 2017 according to CDC. The 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series is an overall measure that encompasses many vaccines that are recommended for children. Various demographic factors (sex, gender, race, availability of commercial health insurance) influence the decision to get vaccinated, were looked at.

Gis steps

The county-level data on the socioeconomic factors were obtained from US Census Bureau (American Factfinder). The health insurance data was obtained from Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE). The vaccination rates were obtained from Texas Immunization registry through DSHS. The data was cleaned and geocoded to be analyzed in ArcGIS to produce maps as shown in Figure 1. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to analyze the relationship between vaccination rates and independent variable.Capture2.PNG The non-vaccination rates are higher around the major cities of Dallas, Austin-San Antonio, Houston and some northwest Texas counties. Population density has a positive correlation with the non-vaccination rate. Other demographic factors have a positive correlation in certain counties as opposed to others.
Source: American FactFinderTexas Immunisation RegistryThe limitation on the immunization data is it being an optional registry so it would not be accurate to run statistics off this information to estimate an immunization rate. In future, it is productive to expand this concept to use regression analysis to try to find the odds of the relationship expressed in the maps and to find if there is a significant association.

Obesogenic Envirnment – a Spatial View

There are several factors that contribute to obesity, one of the prominent ones is walkability. With the second world countries, having more space in general, they lack the environment that promotes walkability. These countries are well equipped with parks but they lack the facility for easy commute. One of the articles below shows the influence of walkability on the obesogenic environment.

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The above maps compare the number of intersections in a European city vs Los Angeles and also Irvine, CA.  Irvine is a city that is lush with many parks but unfortunately, it does not help people who could commute to places through walking.

This is an eye opener for city planners as such as a challenge for them to try to reduce obesogenic environment which would fit other lifestyle choices.

 

GIS in developing countries

GIS a relatively new and is finding its way to improve health. Developing countries deal with more technological challenges to make use of GIS. But nonetheless, a very effective project with implication and impact on the local community of Ahmedabad, India is shown below. The project was impactful – was able to communicate the uneducated & also the educated mass on the issue. It went on to be heard by local policymakers too.

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The above map developed by UMC in help with AMC staff shows the spatial distribution of slums and community health centers across the city.

UMC staff visited AMC’s existing UHCs and CHCs to understand their functioning and understand the requirements for upgrading facilities. UMC developed a methodology which involved meetings and interviews with health staff including medical officers, pharmacists, lab technicians, multi-purpose workers (MPW) etc. Separate SWOT analysis was conducted with medical health workers and with pharmacists, lab technicians and MPWs. UMC with assistance of AMC staff, identified slum pockets and communities on the base map of Ahmedabad and also marked existing health facilities provided by the AMC. These maps were later transferred to a GIS environment to analyze the accessibility of health facilities by slum dwellers. This assisted in locating newer health facilities as proposed under the NUHM. UMC also has prepared model layouts for the new proposed health centres for the AMC. A detailed phase-wise budget and a proposal was prepared for the AMC for submission to Government of India under the NUHM.

Source: Office of Urban Development Authority of Ahmedabad, India.

Applicaiton of GIS in Health: Proximity Analysis

GIS is a powerful tool with various applications. One very useful of such is the ability to produce proximity analysis. It essentially gives an idea of how close one variable is to another, cartographically. For example, look into the below map.

Proximity Analysis of Injury with playgrounds, Pittsburg, PA

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I created the above map using the tutorials in ESRI website for ArcGIS & the content from GIS Tutorial for Health. The above map shows the location of injury to residents and looks for how it is related to the playgrounds in the city. A simple analysis using ArcGIS software yielded the following results:

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This helps us have an idea that most of the injuries happen away (1200 feet away, if not atleast 600 feet away) from the playground. Another interpretation of the results would be: 16% more injuries occur more than 600 feet away from the playground as compared to within 600 feet.  we can conclude by simple spatial reading that playgrounds have a probable protective effect against injuries. Let promote playground on the week of the French Opens!

#active lifestyle – happy lifestyle#

Do Socioeconomic Factors Influence Texans’ Decision to Get Vaccinated? – A cartographic Approach

Texas has one of the highest vaccination rates for childhood diseases overall, 97.4%, according to CDC. But the number of children not vaccinated because of their parents’ “personal beliefs”—as opposed to medical reasons—has risen since 2003, when such exemptions were introduced, to more than 44,000 so far in 2017 according to CDC. The 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series is an overall measure that encompasses many vaccines that are recommended for children. Various demographic factors (sex, gender, race, availability of commercial health insurance) influence the decision to get vaccinated, were looked at.

Gis steps

The county-level data on the socioeconomic factors were obtained from US Census Bureau (American Factfinder). The health insurance data was obtained from Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE). The vaccination rates were obtained from Texas Immunization registry through DSHS. The data was cleaned and geocoded to be analyzed in ArcGIS to produce maps as shown in Figure 1. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to analyze the relationship between vaccination rates and independent variable.

Capture2.PNG

The non-vaccination rates are higher around the major cities of Dallas, Austin-San Antonio, Houston and some northwest Texas counties. Population density has a positive correlation with the non-vaccination rate. Other demographic factors have a positive correlation in certain counties as opposed to others.

 

Source: American FactFinder, Texas Immunisation Registry

The limitation on the immunization data is it being an optional registry so it would not be accurate to run statistics off this information to estimate an immunization rate. In future, it is productive to expand this concept to use regression analysis to try to find the odds of the relationship expressed in the maps and to find if there is a significant association.

CDC Stroke Death Rate

This CDC map displays stroke death rates from 2011-2013 in adults ages sixty-five and older. The data is taken from the National Vital Statistics System and the National Center for Health Statistics. This particular map shows all ethnic groups, and if you visit the site you can see other maps that focus on one ethnicity. Go to cdc.gov to see all the maps and to view more information !

 

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all information for this post from cdc.gov. Click here to see the site. Contact gis@vertices.com.

“Mapping America’s Healthcare Disparities”- LA Times

I came across a map on latimes.com that maps America’s healthcare markets and ranks them based on each areas healthcare features and quality. The three feature categories are health insurance, available doctors, and poverty, and the three outcome categories are preventable deaths, avoidable hospitalizations, and recommended care. It is interesting to compare what areas in the US are more prone to poor healthcare quality and which areas seem to be on track.

This is a screenshot of the map that shows the worst to best ranked areas where residents die from preventable deaths
This is a screenshot of the map that shows the worst to best ranked areas where residents die from preventable deaths. (image from latimes.com)

Check out the map and see how your area measures up. Go to latimes.com or click here

Allergy Forecast- Pollen.com

Personally, my allergies have been horrible so far! I recently heard that pollen this year is worst then it has been in recent seasons. Taking a good allergy medicine is key, but you can also protect yourself by being knowledgeable about the pollen count in your area. I found an allergy forecast map on Pollen.com that shows you the allergy levels in your given area across the United States. You can look at the general prediction for each state on the site which is colored coded- green for low, light green for low-medium, yellow for medium, orange for medium-high, and red for high. Also you can click your state or area of desire for a more detailed report. Once you click the state, you can enter your zip code or pick your city on the drop down menu.

Screen shot 2015-05-13 at 11.49.42 AMCheck out the site on Pollen.com or click here. Thanks pollen.com for the helpful map!

Posted by Intern Eva Gerrits. Click here to see the site. Contact gis@vertices.com

Marine Debris in Cordova Alaska

A new project has been set up for marine debris mapping in Cordova, Alaska. This is a community map which means that anyone in the area who see debris on the land or water can photograph, pin-point, and share with anyone through the site. Using Mappler, you just add the location you found the debris and then choose what kind of debris it is from the long list of options (there is also an option for unknown). You can also add in the time and date, additional comments, and the length of the debris.

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If you are ever in the Cordova area or around the Gulf of Alaska make sure to post what debris you find! This will help with cleanup and pollution monitoring !

Posted by Eva Gerrits, Intern. Click here to see the site. Contact gis@vertices.com