Geovisualization: A Newer GIS Technology for Implementation Research in Health


Use of GIS in public health is currently limited to tracking immunizations, disease surveillance, and establishing new service areas. The potential of GIS to improve planning, implementation and monitoring of programs and to inform policymaking processes for universal access to healthcare is grossly underutilized. Major reasons for restricted use are paid access to GIS software and difficult interpretation for non-GIS professionals. WebGIS technologies present an opportunity for non-GIS public health professionals to present complex data and findings in simpler manner. Conventional GIS methods and Geovisualization are compared and contrasted in this paper using data from the MATIND project in the Gujarat state of India. In-depth literature review on GIS techniques used in health implementation research was conducted. In this paper, MATIND data have been used for comparing conventional GIS methods with a newer web based GIS tool-Geovisualization. GIS software is more useful for analytical purposes; whereas web based geovisualization techniques are much better for visualization and easy interpretation of results by non GIS public health researchers. As the images are easy to interpret, interactive/dynamic and not much technical expertise is required to perform basic analysis, the tool is useful for policy makers and planners. Geovisualization provides a user-friendly tool for presenting large scale community based survey data. Increased use of this tool will help to present implementation research in a creative way to the program planners and policy makers. For program managers, it is a useful tool to monitor implementation and impact of a program to improve health of population.

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Yasobant, S. , Vora, K. , Hughes, C. , Upadhyay, A. and Mavalankar, D. (2015) Geovisualization: A Newer GIS Technology for Implementation Research in Health. Journal of Geographic Information System, 7, 20-28. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2015.71002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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