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Epidemiologic Applications of GIS


4th term
2 credits
Academic Year:
2016 - 2017
Instruction Method:
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Carlos Castillo
Frequency Schedule:
Every Other Year

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses. Basic knowledge of epidemiology and biostatistics and of use of spreadsheets and tabulations.


Presents the methods and uses of epidemiology towards the development and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in public health. Emphasizes the potential of GIS as an epidemiological analysis tool for describing the magnitude of priority health problems, identifying health determinants and supporting health decision-making. Specific topics include epidemiological risk assessment and GIS, thematic mapping of unmet health needs, malaria risk assessment and GIS application for identifying public health problems. Includes hands-on experience and laboratory exercises using public domain and ESRI software.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply the concepts of GIS in public health surveillance and health situation analyses, including assessment of health needs and priorities
  2. Use the SIGEpi software as a GIS tool for producing and editing health thematic maps, tables and graphs
  3. Carry out queries for epidemiological analyses from maps and tables, using the basic aspects of the structured query language (SQL)
  4. Carry out basic spatial analyses of epidemiological information from different cartographic layers through different GIS tools and procedures
  5. Create and edit quality thematic maps for final presentation
Methods of Assessment:

Class projects

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

A required GIS textbook is available in the online library. Students must bring a laptop to class. Should not be taken by students who completed 223.842 in winter 2001 or 340.881.11 in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Summer Institute.