On the ground and in the air: Geovisualization and environmental health data collection in eastern Indonesia
In low resource environments the implementation of a geographic information system can be a costly and impractical proposition. This study demonstrates the potential role of open source GIS software and online geographic visualizing platforms in public/environmental health educational research. While these resources may not have many of the higher-end analytical capabilities of a commercial GIS, they do provide a low cost means of visualizing the spatial distribution of field samples and household surveying efforts. This capability can, in turn, assist students, public health workers, and householders together in partnership develop community and environmental health projects aimed at alleviating significant problems in childhood diseases such respiratory ailments and diarrhea. A continuing project has been established by the University of Hasanuddin's School of Public Health in Makassar, Indonesia, and Northern Illinois University's Public Health Program and Department of Geography in DeKalb, Illinois. Students from both universities have been conducting household interviews, obtaining samples of ambient air particulate matter (PM), and recording GPS coordinates in different urban settings, including the municipal landfill. GPS coordinates and PM readings were then mapped online and used in presentations. These presentations were helpful in evaluating progress in data collection and suggested other locations for sampling and surveying households. Other than existing hardware used in environmental data collection, the cost to create and prepare geovisualizations was negligible. Geovisualization of community level public and environmental health data promotes public and peer interest and added value to the development of student and faculty research projects.
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Differentiate open source and commercial GIS software.
Formulate how a GIS can be used on public/environmental health education research projects in a low resource environment.
List the materials and steps needed to implement a GIS in a low resource environment public health project.
Keyword(s): Geographic Information Systems, International
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working on student and faculty research projects in Indonesia that make use of geographic information systems and environmental and social data collection.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.