Location information, now routinely collected with health data and obtainable from advancing technologies such as smart phones, tablets, and satellite-based products such as Google Earth, provide a gateway for researchers and practitioners to examine the role and harness the power of geography in public health. Coupled with the emerging field of spatial statistics, the analysis of this location-based data is developing new and novel directions for public health.
The purpose of the center is to provide the necessary research, training and service for Johns Hopkins University faculty, students and staff, to our local community and beyond. The center will better harness this advancing field by improving all aspects of the spatial sciences as applied to public health, including study design, analysis as well as public health prevention, intervention, control and policy efforts.
Spatial Science Paradigm
The center promotes a unifying spatial science paradigm (pictured above) that conceptualizes the evolving multidisciplinary efforts of spatial analysis. This spatial science paradigm encompasses components of Spatial Data, Geographic Information System (GIS) and Spatial Statistics.
|Spatial Data||Keeping pace with advancing spatial data technologies to obtain, collect and create spatial information|
|GIS||Spatial database and mapping software for integrating, manipulating and displaying location based data|
|Spatial Statistics||Statistical methods to analyze and interpret layers of mapped data; tools to go "beyond the map"|
The paradigm is applied in the context of epidemiology and environmental public health spanning efforts in exposure assessment, disease & injury prevention, as well as public health practice and policy.