Video highlights GIS mapping of infectious diseases

May 03, 2011

Penn State Public Broadcasting’s fourth installment of the “Geospatial Revolution Project” identifies the uses of geospatial information in climate change research, global aid allocation, and disease tracking.

University Park, Pa. -- In this global society, people are free to travel to all corners of the world regardless of whether they’re carrying an infectious disease. This freedom of movement can cause global health concerns such as the spread of infections and the risk of pandemics. Geospatial information systems (GIS) are currently being used to help scientists and health experts track diseases to better respond to outbreaks.

Episode four of the Geospatial Revolution Project, released May 3, explores how geospatial technology helps track the spread of disease. “If you look at how disease spreads, place becomes extremely important,” said Carl Kinkade, Enterprise GIS Coordinator at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 17-minute episode, which is divided into four chapters, also explains how experts studying climate change use digital maps to monitor glacier ice melt, deforestation and carbon emissions over time. The episode also explains how geospatial technology can help aid workers anticipate food shortages around the world. The closing chapter highlights the Map Kibera project, which empowered the people of an unmapped area of Nairobi, Kenya to map their essential facilities and provide a voice for the more than 200,000 residents.

Other episodes in the four-part series explore global issues related to war and peace. For example, the third episode explores geospatial technologies that the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency used to help target Osama bin Laden.

The four episodes of the Geospatial Revolution Project are available at online.

Penn State Public Broadcasting, licensed to Penn State, produces non-commercial television, radio and online media. Our public service media programming and complementary outreach materials address important societal issues for Pennsylvania, the nation and the world.


(Media Contacts)

Christine O'Brien

Last Updated May 06, 2011