340.701.11 | AY 2013-2014 - Summer Inst. Term | 2 Credit(s)
MTWThF 8:30:00 AM
  • Contact Information
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Apply the concepts of GIS in public health surveillance and health situation analyses, including assessment of health needs and priorities
    • Use the SIGEpi software as a GIS tool for producing and editing health thematic maps, tables and graphs
    • Carry out queries for epidemiological analyses from maps and tables, using the basic aspects of the structured query language (SQL)
    • Carry out basic spatial analyses of epidemiological information from different cartographic layers through different GIS tools and procedures
    • Create and edit quality thematic maps for final presentation
  • Course Description

    Presents the methods and uses of epidemiology towards the development and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in public health. Emphasizes the potential of GIS as an epidemiological analysis tool for describing the magnitude of priority health problems, identifying health determinants and supporting health decision-making. Specific topics include epidemiological risk assessment and GIS, thematic mapping of unmet health needs, malaria risk assessment and GIS application for identifying public health problems. Includes hands-on experience and laboratory exercises using public domain and ESRI software.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    This introductory course includes hands-on experience and laboratory exercises using SIGEpi (public domain) software (ESRI-component based software).

    Students require to bring their Laptops (Windows XP or better) to the course.

    Duration and format:

    This introductory course will have an estimated duration of 18 hours and for every topic it will include a brief introduction of the basic epidemiologic concepts, dedicating the remaining of the time to demonstrations and practical sessions using SIGEpi. Every student should bring his/her laptop. Copies of the software and datasets will be given in class. Working sessions will run from 8:30 am to 12:00 Noon. It is expected that students review the materials and explore the features of the GIS software previous to the in-class sessions. We recommend working in teams.


  • Intended Audience

    JHSPH students and Summer Institute participants

  • Methods of Assessment

    laboratories and final exam for academic credit

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Examination and Grading


    A final examination is required for all students taking the course for academic credits. Final course grades will be based on the results of two laboratories and class participation with the final examination counting 40% of each of two laboratories and 20% of class participation.


  • Prerequisites

    Basic knowledge of epidemiology and biostatistics and of use of spreadsheets and tabulations

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Bring your Laptop (Windows) to class.

  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Geographic Information Systems in Health: Basic Concepts. Pan American Health Organization. 2000, Washington DC.

    Electronic copy of the book will be available to all students. Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and Glossary of terms.

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Welcome Message

    Dear Students,

    Welcome to the "Epidemiologic Applications of GIS" summer course. Please note that the course materials and readings are already available on this CoursePlus site.

    We recommend that all students review the materials for the first day (Monday 24th) of the course. On Monday, we will have our first laboratory to review the basic features of the GIS softare we will be using.

    Data files and the software will be available on Monday during class. Don't forget to bring your laptops (Windows XP or better). Also, you need to have the Excel program. Students who want to download the software during the weekend may do so by accessing the following site:


    This link is also available on this CoursePlus site.

    We will meet from 8:30 - 12:00 am in Room W4030 .

    We are looking forward to meeting and working with you during the comming week.

    Dr. Carlos Castillo-Salgado and MSc. Manuel Vidaurre


  • Course topics










    Mon. June 24








    Introduction: Objectives and Overview.

    Review basic concepts of Epidemiology and GIS.


    Lab. GIS/SIGEpi. Introduction to GIS capabilities. Main Features and menus. Global Health Databases



    Tue. June 25






    Assessment and Mapping of Health Needs.


    Lab. GIS project on health needs. Using multiple GIS data layers.

    Developing a health index using GIS. Baltimore City.



    Wed. June 26






    Epidemiological Risk Assessment of Priority Conditions and Accessibility of Health Services.


    Lab. Identification of epidemiological risk areas and accessibility of services: Honduras GIS project.




    Thurs. June 27






    Using GIS for Disease Monitoring and Public Health Surveillance.


    Lab. GIS applications to surveillance of priority diseases. Malaria in Chiapas, Mexico



    Friday June 28








    Basic Procedures for Analysis of GIS in Public Health.


    Course Evaluation.


  • Contact Information

    Manuel Vidaurre, BA., MCSc.
    Email: manuel.vidaurre@agiltec.com.mx

    Carlos Castillo-Salgado
    Email: ccastill@jhsph.edu
    Office: E6136

  • Course Objectives(from old syllabus)

    Course Objectives:

    At the end of the course participants should be able to:


    1. Integrate the basic epidemiological concepts with the tools of GIS;
    2. Apply the tools of GIS in mapping health need assessments and to recognize uses of GIS in epidemiological surveillance of priority diseases ;
    3. Carry out basic epidemiological and spatial queries from maps and tables;
    4. Carry out spatial analyses of epidemiological information through different GIS procedures;
    5. Use of Web Mapping/GIS Apps, the SIGEpi and GeoDA softwares as GIS tools for producing and editing health thematic and public health maps, tables and graphs;


  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at dss@jhsph.edu.