GIS and Related Information: Influenza / Public Health
This list was compiled by the Emergency Preparedness Committee
of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Geographic Information
with support from the
Minnesota Land Management Information Center.
If you have suggestions for improvements to this site (such as additional
please submit them to the Emergency Preparedness Committee via their
Influenza Specific: Online Maps |
General Flu Info |
Public Health: General Info |
Mapping Systems |
Fed/State GIS | Studies/Programs |
Software/Tools | General Data Sources
- CDC Weekly Influenza Summary Map: Weekly influenza surveillance
report prepared by the Influenza Division of the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
CDC Influenza Surveillance Regions: Outpatient illness and
laboratory data are reported on a national level and by influenza
Computational Quantitative Projections for H1N1 Flu Dynamics in the
United States: Research on Complex Systems, Engineering Sciences and
Applied Mathematics, Northwestern University, uses GIS to show the
anticipated advance of the H1N1 virus for time frames of up to 10 days
into the future for the United States. Click on one of the smaller maps
below the main depiction to watch the future advance of the disease.
Modeling is derived using resources of the Argonne Leadership Computing
Facility at Argonne National Laboratory.
GLEaM: The Global
Epidemic and Mobility modeler is a product of an Indiana University
research group that is interested in understanding the world-wide spread
of diseases, in this case H1N1. Technically described as a platform
“that integrates sociodemographic and population mobility data in
spatially structured stochastic disease models to simulate the spread of
epidemics at the worldwide scale,” there are additional GIS displays
available from this link.
Map Global Disease Alert Map: Collaborative map product made
possible by funding from Google.org. Partners include the Centers for
Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Use the zoom feature
to zero in on an area of interest, and then click on the bubble icons
for news updates.
New York Times – Tracking Swine Flu Cases Maps: By clicking on the
slide bar dates at the top of the right-hand inset box, you can view the
geospatial expansion of the disease over time on North America and
Pacific Disaster Center: The highly regarded Pacific Disaster Center
has recently added H1N1 tracking to its interactive online Natural
Hazards and Vulnerabilities Atlas. Use the tools and layer selection
features to declutter the presentation and zoom into an area of
PandemicFlu.gov Influenza Map: Map at the federal government’s main
USA Today Flu Map:
Set of maps showing swine flu cases and precautions around the world
with current country information available by scrolling pointer over
location. Time lapse sequence of the United States is available by
selecting that page and then using the scroll bar feature in the legend.
General Influenza and Related Information
CIDRAP: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, founded
in 2001, is a global leader in addressing public health preparedness and
emerging infectious disease response. Part of the Academic Health Center
at the University of Minnesota, CIDRAP is led by Michael Osterholm, PhD,
MPH, director and professor, Division of Environmental Health Sciences,
School of Public Health.
HSEM Pandemic Supplement to the Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan:
The purpose of this document is to provide a coordinated response to
Pandemic Influenza using the incident command structure (33 p., 747K,
HSEM Local Jurisdiction Service Continuation Planning Guide:
Describes operating approaches for local jurisdictions to use while
maintaining basic services during pandemic flu (53 p., 445K, PDF).
Mass Medical Care with Scarce Resources: A Community Planning Guide:
Provides community planners—as well as planners at the institutional,
State, and Federal levels—with information on planning for and
responding to a mass casualty event.
Minnesota Department of Health Pandemic Influenza Homepage: Tons of
information related community planning that is needed for schools,
hospitals, businesses, and your government, to make sure you can
continue to receive the services you need.
Minnesota Pandemic Influenza Plan: This supplement to the MDH
All-Hazards Response and Recovery Plan gives details of MDH's activities
during and in preparation of an influenza pandemic.
MNTrac: (Minnesota system for Tracking Resources, Alerts, and
Communication) is a database-driven, password-protected web application
designed specifically to track bed capacity, pharmaceuticals and
resources (e.g., ventilators, personal protective and decontamination
equipment) from all hospitals within the state to support surge capacity
needs. It has no visualization capability at the current time.
OEP: As part of the Minnesota Department of Health, the Office of
Emergency Preparedness coordinates preparedness activities and assists
local public health agencies, hospitals, health care organizations and
public safety officials in their efforts to plan for, respond to and
recover from public health emergencies.
- PandemicFlu.gov: Federal government’s homepage for information
concerning pandemic influenza.
General GIS Related Information
Avian Influenza Preparedness Planning and Response -- GIS Applications:
Although the title suggests this focuses on Avian influenza, the
excellent examples and potential uses described in this presentation
have value for all influenza scenarios. It was produced by the
Scientific Technologies Corporation using information current through
2007. Don’t miss the slide showing the “Wall of Knowledge” at the Health
Secretary’s Command Center, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,
found on slide 38 (57 slides, 8.1 MB, PowerPoint).
GIS in State Pandemic Influenza Plans: This presentation was given
by Chris Kinabrew, MPH, MSW, Public Health Specialist, on September 24,
2006, at the NAPHIT 2006 Annual Meeting. This ESRI-sponsored
presentation gives a good review of the state of affairs at that time,
and by deductive reasoning, the unfortunate reality of current
circumstances. (26 slides, 2.9 MB, PowerPoint)
Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS), NIH’s National
Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS): This page relates the
story of how GIS was used to model the progression of influenza under
two scenarios: with vaccine intervention and without. Although grainy,
of interest is the GIS time lapse that plays using the links in the
right hand inset box. Read the description before playing.
State of Minnesota GIS Pandemic Needs Analysis Report: A study of
Minnesota state agency pandemic and flu outbreak responsibilities that
focuses on their existing capacities and use of GIS support (61 p., 327K, PDF). See p. 47 for the start of recommendations/plan of action for
Using GIS in Pan Flu Response: Power Point presentation by Seth
Wiafe, M.P.H., Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Center for
Public Health Preparedness (33 p., 4.6 MB, PDF).
Baystate Medical Center Health Geographics Program: Based in
Massachusetts and associated with Tufts University, this program is
recognized as an international leader in bringing geospatial awareness
to the Public Health community. Of particular value from this homepage
is access to educational videos and publications via links at the bottom
of the page, and an amazing collection of informational links accessed
from the left hand inset.
- CDC Emergency
Preparedness and Response: Hub for a wide variety of information
concerning emergency preparedness and response covering natural and
Founded in 2002, the Center for Public Health Preparedness is part of
the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Centers for Public
Health Education and Outreach. Funded in part by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, its mission is to train state and local public
health workers and others to prepare for and respond to terrorism
incidents, infectious disease outbreaks and emergent public health
threats. From its home page there are a variety of online educational
tools that bring understanding to the fusion of emergency
preparedness/response and public health.
ESRI Homepage on Health: ESRI is the world’s largest provider of GIS
software. This site links out to numerous articles, videos, and
presentations that explain the use of GIS for Public Health.
ESRI Page on Available Public Health Literature: Books and
whitepapers on the use of GIS for Public Health.
GeoPrimer: Although developed for the environmental public health
tracking community, provides a good basic understanding of GIS terms and
use for the general medical community (16 p., 1.9MB, PDF).
- GIS and
Public Health: Sponsored by the National Center for Health
Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control. This site is a collection
of links concerning GIS use in the health community.
- National Cancer
Institute GIS Web Hub: A very extensive resource site well worth the
- Public Health
Emergency Preparedness: An Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality Site that contains a wide variety of affiliated resource
information for public health emergencies.
Examples of Public Health Related Mapping Systems
AEGIS: Advanced Emergency GIS is a collaborative effort between Air-Trak,
ESRI and Loma Linda University to create real time situational awareness
displays for the emergency medical services community.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: BRFSS Maps is an
interactive mapping application that graphically displays the prevalence
of behavioral risk factors at the state and MMSA level. Using GIS
mapping technology and BRFSS data, it allows users to visually compare
prevalence data for states, territories, and local areas. Site also
includes links to download available data.
BioSense is a CDC national program intended to improve the nation’s
capabilities for conducting real-time biosurveillance, and enabling
health situational awareness through access to existing data from
healthcare organizations across the country. Find a wealth of
information about GIS use in this program by following links from the
homepage and subpages.
California’s Health Care Atlas System: A publicly accessible
interactive mapping application using hospital and other healthcare
facility data including facility locations, financial and utilizations
reports, and patient level summaries.
EnviroMapper by EPA is an interactive map that displays various
types of environmental information related to public health including
air releases, drinking water, toxic releases, hazardous wastes, water
discharge permits, and Superfund sites.
- Grasp and GATHER:
Descriptions of these two programs and GIS use at the Centers for
Standard for Healthcare is a product that allows real time status
tracking of patients, assets, and response facilities using geospatial
visualization as the program’s backbone. Developed in collaboration with
ESRI and Baystate Medical.
TOXMAP is a pilot project developed at the National Library of
Medicine that creates nationwide or local area maps showing where
chemicals are released into the air, water and ground. It provides
access to relevant chemical information and provides region-specific
links to chemical and bibliographic information.
Examples of Federal and State Use of GIS
Studies and Programs that Consider GIS Use in the Public Health
- Hospital Available Beds for Emergencies and Disasters (HAvBED)
System: HAvBED explores the feasibility of a national real-time
hospital-bed tracking system to address a surge of patients during a
mass casualty event. GIS is an integrated component to facilitate rapid
Minnesota Public Health Information Network (MN-PHIN) Roadmap and
Recommendations for Strategic Action: Planning document for Minnesota
that recommends using GIS for health related disaster preparedness and
monitoring. See page 13 for information concerning specific need for GIS
systems (39 p., 396K, PDF format).
- PHIN: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health
Information Network is a national initiative to improve the capacity of
public health to use and exchange information electronically by
promoting the use of standards, defining functional and technical
requirements. It will incorporate GIS as a core component.
Wisconsin PHIN: PowerPoint presentation on the Wisconsin Public
Health Information Network (PHIN) that uses GIS as a principal analytic
tool (37 slides, 596K, PowerPoint).
Available Software and Tools
- CLUSTER: This software is designed to help the researcher determine
if there is a statistically significant chance that a cluster occurred
other than by random phenomenon.
EpiAnalyst Extension for ArcView® GIS: EpiAnalyst is a low cost
productivity tool and resource kit for spatial-epidemiologic research
created by Research Epidemiology Geographic Software (REGS).
- EPI Info: Download homepage for EPI Info 3.5.1, CDC’s free
statistical program that is transitioning to an open source program.
Program includes a module for mapping information.
- EPRI: Emergency Preparedness Resource Inventory is a public health
asset tracking tool that has a built-in mapping feature. A free product
of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
ESRI Markers for Emergency Preparedness and Response: A variety of
Arcscripts for emergency and response displayed on two pages. Includes
the Department of Homeland Security symbol set.
FGDC Emergency Management Symbology Download: True Type font
Department of Homeland Security standard symbology set for emergency
preparedness and response.
- GeoDa is a free software program that serves as an introduction to
spatial data analysis. Created by Arizona State University, GeoDa has
been used in a wide variety of situations to demonstrate geography
statistically matters, including when it comes to disease concentrations
software has been developed by a team at
the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health of Imperial College at
St Mary's Hospital, London. It is an add-on to WinBUGS that fits spatial
models and produces a range of maps as output. Bayesian inference is
used to spatially smooth the standardized incidence/mortality ratios
using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. GeoBUGS implements models
for data that are collected within discrete regions (not at the
individual level) and smoothing is done based on Markov random field
models for the neighborhood structure of the regions relative to each
HealthVis: A free geospatial health statistic visualization program
created by Penn State. Site contains other information about related
- Linked Micromaps allows users to view multiple variables
interactively and compare statistics across regions (states, counties,
registries, hospitals) as well as across time.
- SaTScan is a free software that analyzes spatial, temporal and
space-time data using the spatial, temporal, or space-time scan
Tools for ArcMap: A listing of tools as provided by the National
Tickets is a free open source Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) program
that provides communities that cannot afford high priced systems with
access to a CAD platform that also includes referencing to the U.S.
National Grid. Lead developer on the project is Arnie Shore, who did
high-level federal work for many years.
Links to General Data Sources for Creating Public Health maps
The EPC does not endorse any commercial products which may appear in
files referenced here. All information has been provided for educational
Last updated May 14, 2009
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