Mapping in Public Health

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TitleMapping in Public Health
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsWaller LA
Book TitleMapping Across Academia
Year of Publication2017
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsLeprosy, Mapping, Public Health

The history and development of public health was motivated, illustrated, and implemented with the use of maps. In this chapter, we provide a brief review of the use of maps and related concepts in public health spanning from medieval plague quarantine plans to remotely sensed satellite measures of air pollution. We begin with early maps of infectious disease (e.g., plague, yellow fever, and cholera) including an in-depth review of Dr. John Snow’s famed map of the 1854 London cholera epidemic. We also review the role of mapping in contemporary political debates regarding miasma versus contagion as underlying causes of disease and associated early public health responses such as sanitation and quarantine. We next highlight atlases of disease identifying, documenting, labeling, and mapping endemic areas of known diseases (e.g., yellow fever, cholera, and leprosy) across the globe . Finally, we outline the rise of quantification of observed patterns and the use of spatial statistical techniques to investigate epidemiologic hypotheses regarding geographic variations in disease risk and associations with potential local explanatory factors. Taken together, we find a rich history of mapping in the development, maturation, and modern implementation of public health science and practice.

Citation Key29539