Monday, February 6, 2017

Five Essential Properties of Disease Maps

Disease maps are very popular and necessary in understanding how a disease affects a population, area and overall factors of an environment. This article presents a new way to map diseases that covers categories that they believe are important in reading these maps correctly. They have created a system to map diseases taking into consideration population spatial support, displaying rates continuously through space, providing maximum geographic detail of the area, considering direct and in direct age-sex-adjusted rates and visual rates with relative place context. Maps created using the system can be seen below:

This map shows the same cancer data layered with different geographic data available to any map reader.

Using layers to map over cancer data from Iowa from 2000-2005 they were able to represent this data among different geographic factors of the area. In conclusion they found that when mapping disease over an area each map might require different approaches to appropriately make connections to the diease and the area. However, they want this article to spark interest in mapping disease and the area that it encompasses in a new way to have access to new data and understanding.

Beyer, K. M., Tiwari, C., & Rushton, G. (2012). Five essential properties of disease maps. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 102(5), 1067-1075.

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