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CPHP to Co-Sponsor our 6th Annual GIS in Public Health Day on 4 May 2010; classes to be offered on 5 May. New training class just added !

March 10, 2010 -


The theme of this year’s program is

Using GIS to Improve Public Health



The cost of the May 4th program is $30.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided to persons registered and paid by Friday April 23, 2010.

The event will begin at 8:00 AM with

registration and breakfast, and 

end at 4:30 PM

All activities will take place at the

University at Albany,

School of Public Health in East Greenbush, NY

Presentations May 4, 2010

Keynote: The role of GIS in advancing the modern health transition in the U.S. - Gerard Rushton, University of Iowa

Early detection of disease outbreaks - Martin Kulldorff, Harvard Medical School

Geographic, socioeconomic and racial disparities in cancer survival - Kevin Henry, New Jersey Cancer Registry

Connecting Data and Kids: The Power and implicity of the Kids' Well-being Indicator Clearinghouse - Cate Bohn and Robin Miller, New York State Council on Children and Families;  Paul Marano, Cogent Technologies

GIS and Geospatial Science at Work at the CDC:Improving Public Health Practice and Research - Andrew Dent, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

County Health Rankings: Mobilizing ActionToward Community Health - Bridget Booske, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

Other than the Keynote Address, the order of the presentations may change.

Please click on the link below to register for May 4, 2010.



Payment forms accepted for this event include cash or check only.


The May 4th program will be followed by a day of training in the School of Public Health teaching lab.

There is an additional $30 fee to attend the hands-on trainings.



Training Classes May 5, 2010

Morning Training Session (9AM-NOON) Google Earth & Public Health - Frank Boscoe, Assistant Professor, University at Albany School of Public Health Cancer Registry, New York State Department of Health

Google Earth is the most powerful of several free programs that can interpret KML, an open-source language for web-based geographic visualization. KML has rapidly become a preferred means of generating, storing, sharing and displaying geographic data. This three-hour workshop provides an introduction to Google Earth and how it may be used in public health programs. Some basic GIS knowledge is helpful, though not necessary.

Learning objectives: 1. Students will learn to use Google Earth to locate geographic features and landmarks. 2. Students will learn to create, store, and share their own geographically referenced data using Google Earth.

Afternoon Training Session (1PM-3PM) The Geographic Aggregation Tool (GAT) - Thomas Talbot & Gwen LaSelva, Environmental Health Surveillance Section, New York State Department of Health

Health outcome maps with high geographic resolution can inadvertently disclose confidential data. In addition, high resolution health outcome rate maps are often misleading due to random fluctuations in disease rates in areas with small numbers. To overcome these limitations, the New York State Department of Health Environmental Health Surveillance Section developed a Geographic Aggregation Tool (GAT) which joins neighboring geographic areas until a defined population, and/or number of cases is reached. The GAT was originally developed using SAS, but was converted to R, an open source statistical programming language. The R GAT uses shapefiles (*.shp). The shapefiles must uniquely identify each area and have counts of health outcomes, population, or other variable(s) upon which to base the aggregation. The program can also favor merges nested in larger regions. For example, when aggregating census tracts, the aggregated areas will, if possible, not cross county boundaries. Census geographies, such as census tracks, census blocks or counties, as well as postal service areas (ZIP Codes), can be used with the tool. The tool produces maps showing the aggregated areas in KML and shapefile formats, which can be used with a variety of desktop and internet based GIS applications. The training session will provide examples using simulated birth outcome data at the ZIP code level. A beta version of the GAT along with R will be provided.

Learning objectives: 1. Students will learn how confidentiality can be compromised with maps. 2. Students will learn how to geographically aggregate health and population data using the Geographic Aggregation Tool in order to avoid compromising confidentiality and to reduce random fluctuations in rates due to small numbers .


Free Training Sessions


        May 5, 9:00AM-11:00AM

ArcGIS Explorer: A Powerful Free GIS Tool for Public Health

Mark Scott, Paul Rooney (ESRI) and

Glen Johnson (NYS DOH)

ArcGIS Explorer is a free, downloadable GIS viewer that gives you an easy way to explore, visualize, and share GIS information. ArcGIS Explorer adds value to any GIS because it helps you deliver your authoritative data to a broad audience while enabling a range of spatial analyses not usually found in free viewers. With ArcGIS Explorer, you can: access ready-to-use ArcGIS Online basemaps and layers; fuse your local data with map services to create custom maps; perform spatial analysis (e.g., visibility, modeling, proximity search); add photos, reports, videos, and other information to your maps.

Attendees will learn how to build and deploy ArcGIS Explorer applications focusing on public health; as well as learn more about the use of this tool within the health industry. While no previous GIS experience is required, familiarity with spatial concepts would be beneficial.


Creating Maps with SAS/GRAPH - Mike Zdeb Assistant Professor, University at Albany School of Public Health,
author of Maps Made Easy Using SAS

Maps can be created with SAS® by using either SAS/GIS or the GMAP procedure, one of the procedures available within SAS/GRAPH. This class will first show you how to use the GMAP procedure to create four different map types: choropleth, prism, surface, and block. The class will then concentrate on creating choropleth maps, "... 2-dimensional maps that represent data values as combinations of pattern and color that fill map areas ..." (definition from SAS/GRAPH Software Usage Version 6). Once you understand how to create a map, you will learn how to customize the output of GMAP using an annotate data set and also be introduced to some methods of producing web-based maps.

Prerequisites: You should have some knowledge of SAS concepts (data sets, libraries, formats, etc.) if you sign up for this class. You need not have any knowledge of SAS/Graph.



Please click on the following link to register for Hands-on training sessions May 5:


Payment forms accepted for this event include cash or check only.


If you have any questions about conference registration or payment, contact us at:

cphp@uamail.albany.edu or 518-486-7921

GIS Day Program (in .pdf format)

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