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Online GIS services for mapping and sharing disease information.

Gao S, Mioc D, Anton F, Yi X, Coleman DJ - Int J Health Geogr (2008)

Bottom Line: Disease phenomena are strongly associated with spatial and temporal factors.These challenges cause barriers in extensively sharing health data and restrain the effectiveness in understanding and responding to disease outbreaks.We have shown that the development of standard health services and spatial data infrastructure can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public health surveillance.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Canada. sheng.gao@unb.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: Disease data sharing is important for the collaborative preparation, response, and recovery stages of disease control. Disease phenomena are strongly associated with spatial and temporal factors. Web-based Geographical Information Systems provide a real-time and dynamic way to represent disease information on maps. However, data heterogeneities, integration, interoperability, and cartographical representation are still major challenges in the health geographic fields. These challenges cause barriers in extensively sharing health data and restrain the effectiveness in understanding and responding to disease outbreaks. To overcome these challenges in disease data mapping and sharing, the senior authors have designed an interoperable service oriented architecture based on Open Geospatial Consortium specifications to share the spatio-temporal disease information.

Results: A case study of infectious disease mapping across New Brunswick (Canada) and Maine (USA) was carried out to evaluate the proposed architecture, which uses standard Web Map Service, Styled Layer Descriptor and Web Map Context specifications. The case study shows the effectiveness of an infectious disease surveillance system and enables cross-border visualization, analysis, and sharing of infectious disease information through interactive maps and/or animation in collaboration with multiple partners via a distributed network. It enables data sharing and users' collaboration in an open and interactive manner.

Conclusion: In this project, we develop a service oriented architecture for online disease mapping that is distributed, loosely coupled, and interoperable. An implementation of this architecture has been applied to the New Brunswick and Maine infectious disease studies. We have shown that the development of standard health services and spatial data infrastructure can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public health surveillance.

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Web Map Service integration. It is integrated from three WMS services that produce school absenteeism charts, thematic disease maps and world boundary maps.
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Figure 6: Web Map Service integration. It is integrated from three WMS services that produce school absenteeism charts, thematic disease maps and world boundary maps.

Mentions: In addition, simulated influenza outbreak data (includes the influenza cases, other data such as grocery retail, grocery supply, fuel retail, fuel supply, school, pharmacy and hospital beds occupation) based on a 1968 influenza variation (approximately 35% infection rate) were generated and published through WMS. Hosted by the Emergency Measures Organization of the Province of New Brunswick, Exercise "High Tide" enlisted many participants to test this real-time decision making environment in the simulation of a disease outbreak. This environment simulates the diffusion of the disease at different days using animated mapping. The animation is achieved by using the time tag in WMS services. Users can select a start date and map switch interval to view the disease map animation, or choose a certain day to show the disease map. In the generation of the disease maps, this environment supports the data aggregation and representation to certain levels, such as Maine/NB and Health Region, in different days. With the specified user request, the mapping values in the database temporal tables (which stores the geometry data and mapping attribute values) will be updated synchronously with a lock mechanism and disease maps will be created. Meanwhile, the maps of facilities like grocery stores and ambulance locations could be obtained from a WMS. Figure 6 shows the school absenteeism chart obtained from a web map service on top of the thematic disease map, and the background image is also retrieved from a WMS provided by Demis, a European company. The convenient disease map access and integration could be achieved by using the standard WMS.


Online GIS services for mapping and sharing disease information.

Gao S, Mioc D, Anton F, Yi X, Coleman DJ - Int J Health Geogr (2008)

Web Map Service integration. It is integrated from three WMS services that produce school absenteeism charts, thematic disease maps and world boundary maps.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2277489&req=5

Figure 6: Web Map Service integration. It is integrated from three WMS services that produce school absenteeism charts, thematic disease maps and world boundary maps.
Mentions: In addition, simulated influenza outbreak data (includes the influenza cases, other data such as grocery retail, grocery supply, fuel retail, fuel supply, school, pharmacy and hospital beds occupation) based on a 1968 influenza variation (approximately 35% infection rate) were generated and published through WMS. Hosted by the Emergency Measures Organization of the Province of New Brunswick, Exercise "High Tide" enlisted many participants to test this real-time decision making environment in the simulation of a disease outbreak. This environment simulates the diffusion of the disease at different days using animated mapping. The animation is achieved by using the time tag in WMS services. Users can select a start date and map switch interval to view the disease map animation, or choose a certain day to show the disease map. In the generation of the disease maps, this environment supports the data aggregation and representation to certain levels, such as Maine/NB and Health Region, in different days. With the specified user request, the mapping values in the database temporal tables (which stores the geometry data and mapping attribute values) will be updated synchronously with a lock mechanism and disease maps will be created. Meanwhile, the maps of facilities like grocery stores and ambulance locations could be obtained from a WMS. Figure 6 shows the school absenteeism chart obtained from a web map service on top of the thematic disease map, and the background image is also retrieved from a WMS provided by Demis, a European company. The convenient disease map access and integration could be achieved by using the standard WMS.

Bottom Line: Disease phenomena are strongly associated with spatial and temporal factors.These challenges cause barriers in extensively sharing health data and restrain the effectiveness in understanding and responding to disease outbreaks.We have shown that the development of standard health services and spatial data infrastructure can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public health surveillance.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Canada. sheng.gao@unb.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: Disease data sharing is important for the collaborative preparation, response, and recovery stages of disease control. Disease phenomena are strongly associated with spatial and temporal factors. Web-based Geographical Information Systems provide a real-time and dynamic way to represent disease information on maps. However, data heterogeneities, integration, interoperability, and cartographical representation are still major challenges in the health geographic fields. These challenges cause barriers in extensively sharing health data and restrain the effectiveness in understanding and responding to disease outbreaks. To overcome these challenges in disease data mapping and sharing, the senior authors have designed an interoperable service oriented architecture based on Open Geospatial Consortium specifications to share the spatio-temporal disease information.

Results: A case study of infectious disease mapping across New Brunswick (Canada) and Maine (USA) was carried out to evaluate the proposed architecture, which uses standard Web Map Service, Styled Layer Descriptor and Web Map Context specifications. The case study shows the effectiveness of an infectious disease surveillance system and enables cross-border visualization, analysis, and sharing of infectious disease information through interactive maps and/or animation in collaboration with multiple partners via a distributed network. It enables data sharing and users' collaboration in an open and interactive manner.

Conclusion: In this project, we develop a service oriented architecture for online disease mapping that is distributed, loosely coupled, and interoperable. An implementation of this architecture has been applied to the New Brunswick and Maine infectious disease studies. We have shown that the development of standard health services and spatial data infrastructure can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public health surveillance.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus