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RESEARCH

The International Geospatial Health Research Network (IGHRN) operates at the forefront of society’s most pressing health issues. Our network highlights crucial geospatial health research, facilitates access to much needed geospatial health data, and advanced analytics. Our goal is to connect academic, policy makers, practitioners and researchers to move the science forward.


Active Geospatial Health Research

Mei-Po Kwan (PI) and Yanwei Chai (Co-PI) are undertaking a four-year research project entitled “Sino-US Comparative Research on Residents’ Space-Time Behavior and Its Theoretical Innovation,” funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. The project examines the complex relationships between human mobility patterns, individual exposures to environmental stressors, neighborhood quality, and individual health. It seeks to understand how the neighborhoods people live in and visit in their daily life affect their health and wellbeing through comparative studies of several cities in China and the U.S., including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chicago. It focuses on the noise and air quality that people are exposed to over their whole day – not just at their residence, but also as they undertake their daily activities (e.g., travel to work and pick up kids from school). Data have been collected in both cities using surveys, GPS-equipped mobile phones, and portable noise and air pollutant sensors. The project will provide insight into the complex interactions between environmental influences (e.g., air pollutants and noise), human mobility, and individual health. It helps build greater community knowledge of noise and air pollutants, empower the participants and their communities with such knowledge, promote policy changes, and improve urban environments and health outcomes.


The American Association of Geographers (AAG), the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have recently been awarded funding through the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a robust and reliable Geospatial Virtual Data Enclave (GVDE).


Featured Geospatial Health Research

The Limits of the Neighborhood Effect: Contextual Uncertainties in Geographic, Environmental Health, and Social Science Research

Year: 2018 Author(s): Kwan, Mei-Po Abstract: This article draws on recent studies to argue that researchers need to be attentive to the limits of the neighborhood effect as conventionally understood. It highlights the complexities of contextual influences…

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Morbidity and mortality due to shigella and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli diarrhoea: the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2016

Year: 2018 Author(s):Khalil, Ibrahim A., Christopher Troeger, Brigette F. Blacker, Puja C. Rao, Alexandria Brown, Deborah E. Atherly, Thomas G. Brewer et al. Abstract: Shigella and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are bacterial pathogens that are frequently associated with…

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The potential contributions of geographic information science to the study of social determinants of health in Iran

Year: 2018 Author(s): Rabiei-Dastjerdi, H. and Matthews, S.A. Abstract:Recent interest in the social determinants of health (SDOH) and the effects of neighborhood contexts on individual health and well-being has grown exponentially. In this brief communication, we…

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Assessing the spatial heterogeneity in overall health across the United States using spatial regression methods: The contribution of health factors and county-level demographics

Year: 2018 Author(s): Tabb, L.P., McClure, L.A., Quick, H., Purtle, J., and Diez Roux, A.V. Highlights: Spatial patterning in health outcomes and factors at the US county-level is assessed. Significant spatial heterogeneity exists in health outcomes…

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Measuring Performance on the Healthcare Access and Quality Index for 195 countries and territories and selected subnational locations: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

Year: 2018 Author(s): Fullman, N., Yearwood, J., Abay, S.M., Abbafati, C., Abd-Allah, F., Abdela, J., Abdelalim, A., et al. Abstract: A key component of achieving universal health coverage is ensuring that all populations have access to quality…

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The Tsinghua-Lancet Commission on Healthy Cities in China: unlocking the power of cities for a healthy China

Year: 2018 Author(s): Jun Yang, José G Siri, Justin V Remais, Qu Cheng, Han Zhang, Karen K Y Chan, Zhe Sun, Yuanyuan Zhao, Na Cong, Xueyan Li, Wei Zhang, Yuqi Bai, Jun Bi, Wenjia Cai, Emily Y…

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Contagious Diseases in the United States from 1888 to the Present

Year: 2013 Author(s): Willem G. van Panhuis, John Grefenstette, Su Yon Jung, Nian Shong Chok, Anne Cross, Heather Eng, Bruce Y. Lee, Vladimir Zadorozhny, Shawn Brown, Derek Cummings and Donald S. Burke Journal: The New England Journal…

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Region-wide synchrony and traveling waves of dengue across eight countries in Southeast Asia.

Year: 2015 Author(s): Willem G. van Panhuis, Marc Choisy, Xin Xiong, Nian Shong Chok, Pasakorn Akarasewi, Sopon Iamsirithaworn, Sai K. Lam, Chee K. Chong, Fook C. Lam, Bounlay Phommasak, Phengta Vongphrachanh, Khamphaphongphane Bouaphanh, Huy Rekol, Nguyen…

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Geovisualization of Human Hybrid Activity‐Travel Patterns

Year: 2007 Author(s): Fang Ren and Mei‐Po Kwan Journal: Transactions in GIS Abstract: While GIS‐based geovisualization techniques have been fruitfully employed in a wide range of fields, they have not been applied to explore human hybrid activity‐travel…

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Bivariate spatiotemporal disease mapping of cancer of the breast and cervix uteri among Iranian women

Year: 2018 Author(s): Mehdi Raei, Volker Johann Schmid and Behzad Mahaki Journal: Geospatial Health Abstract: Cervical cancer in women is one of the most common cancers and breast cancer has grown dramatically in recent years. The purpose of this…

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Individual exposure estimates may be erroneous when spatiotemporal variability of air pollution and human mobility are ignored.

Year: 2017 Author(s): Yoo Min Park and Mei-Po Kwan Journal: Health & Place Abstract: This study aims to empirically demonstrate the necessity to consider both the spatiotemporal variability of air pollution and individual daily movement patterns in exposure…

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Evaluating data stability in aggregation structures across spatial scales: revisiting the modifiable areal unit problem

Year: 2015 Author(s): Jonathan K. Nelson & Cynthia A. Brewer Journal: Cartography and Geographic Information Science Abstract: Socioeconomic and health analysts commonly rely on areally aggregated data, in part because government regulations on confidentiality prohibit…

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Geospatial Technology: A Tool to Aid in the Elimination of Malaria in Bangladesh

Year: 2015 Author(s): Karen E. Kirk, M. Zahirul Haq, Mohammad Shafiul Alam and Ubydul Haque Journal: ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information Abstract: Bangladesh is a malaria endemic country. There are 13 districts in the country bordering India and…

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Capturing the spatial variability of HIV epidemics in South Africa and Tanzania using routine healthcare facility data

Year: 2018 Author(s): Diego F. Cuadros, Benn Sartorius, Chris Hall, Adam Akullian, Till Bärnighausen and Frank Tanser Journal: International Journal of Health Geographics Abstract: Large geographical variations in the intensity of the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa…

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Geo-Located Tweets. Enhancing Mobility Maps and Capturing Cross-Border Movement

Year: 2015 Author(s): Justine I. Blanford , Zhuojie Huang, Alexander Savelyev and Alan M. MacEachren Journal: PLoS One Abstract: Capturing human movement patterns across political borders is difficult and this difficulty highlights the need to investigate alternative data…

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