Overview: Geographic information systems (GIS) provide an important link between health data and spatial information. This webinar described GIS data collection methods and demonstrated how these methods are being used to expand data on environmental and social stress exposure in the PESBART (Effect of Physical Environment and Stress in Blacks in Relation to Asthma Severity and Response to Therapy) study. Specifically, the expanded data* in this study included incidence, prevalence, and severity of asthma in minority communities.

This webinar discussed challenges and goals of the GIS data collection process and the implications for understanding the environmental effects on health data. The GIS data collection process is being managed by The Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) at Harvard University.

*The PESBART study is expanding on data that was previously collected during the BELT study (Blacks and Exacerbations on LABA vs. Tiotropium), which includes data on more than 1,000 African American adults with asthma.


Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the session, participants were able to:

  • Learn the basic principles of geographic information systems (GIS), including:
    • Geocoding
    • Variable collection methodologies
    • Mapping and analysis
  • Review the application of GIS in environmental epidemiology
  • Understand the challenges and limitations of utilizing and interpreting GIS data in health outcomes research

Download presentation slides here.