Thursday, May 26, 2016

Five Essential Properties of Disease Maps by Kirsten M. M. Beyer

There are many issues that come with creating disease maps, especially when it comes to choropleth maps, or maps that show differences in characteristics based on color change. Some of these issues include having trouble with small populations and changes in what the map shows depending on how zoomed in the maps are. In order to forgo these issues five important properties to include in these maps have been identified. The first is to "control the population basis of spatial support for estimates of rates", meaning a broad enough look at the population has to be taken to properly asses the map. The second property is to "display rates continuously through space".  Proper units have to be used to represent the continuous patterns that appear in nature. "Providing maximum geographic detail across the map" is the third property, and this is simply to adjust for the spatial boundaries that can sometimes appear when maps are too political. "Considering directly and indirectly age-sex-adjusted rates" is important in comparing small population disease outbreaks to what would match the number nation-wide.  The final property is to "visualize rates within a relevant place context to enhance interpretation" which makes these maps more accessible to the public, and therefore overall more useful.


  1. The continual development of GIS and methodology, as seen in this analysis of disease maps, is necessary in intertwining GIS with other fields. "Bravo," the french might say.

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