Human Geography

Landscape Epidemiology and geospatial technologies

Understanding how diseases spread is not a new discipline of study, but with increased concerns about the effects of our global world on the spread of dangerous viruses like SARS, AIDS, and yes, bird flu, I thought it would be timely to mention yet another use of GIS, Remote Sensing, and other geospatial technologies: landscape epidemiology. As a discipline, it dates back to the 1960s, when the notion that understanding the landscape and environment in areas where certain diseases develop or are particularly dangerous could help in predicting where diseases will spread and how severe outbreaks will be. Satellite imagery and GIS are being used successfully in landscape epidemiology studies, and a number of examples can be found on the Web, including a GIS project mapping SARS featured at

Other examples include projects studying West Nile Virus and this 2003 project to study Ebola

The ZevRoss website has a nice overview article here

One thought on “Landscape Epidemiology and geospatial technologies

  1. Considering current events, I’m surprised at how difficult it is to find a course in landscape epidemiology. It would be particularly useful to find a course that is designed online for working adults, like me, who have knowledge in both disease and GIS but who wish to meld the two into a more useable skill.

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