Spatial Epidemiology: Introductory Methods and Applications

Course Number
5400 (Epidemiology)
Course Instructor(s)
Erjia Ge

course description

Spatial epidemiology is one of most important branches in Epidemiology to investigate spatial distribution of diseases and related determinants of health. With the development of computer sciences and big data, Geographical Information System (GIS) and geospatial technologies have been widely used in Epidemiology and Public Health issues, such as infectious diseases, air pollution, healthcare accessibility, social behaviors, and health inequality.

This is an introductory course for spatial epidemiology regarding basic concepts and methods in spatial data, spatial statistics and models, and GIS tools (e.g. ArcGIS, GeoDa, and R) applied in epidemiological and public health studies.

course objectives

After this course, students will be able to:

  • understand basic concepts in spatial data, methods, and GIS terminology and methods used in spatial epidemiology;
  • search and process spatial and health data available from library, government, and other open resources.
  • conduct exploratory spatial data analysis for disease mapping using ArcGIS, GeoDa, and R.
  • employ spatial modeling approaches to inform/generate policy recommendations for disease control and prevention;
  • explore the process for co-authoring a study manuscript in spatial epidemiology.

methods of assessment

Participation: 10%
Three tutorial exercises: 60%
Main assignment: 30% (presentation 5% + essay 25%)