Geographical information systems as a tool in epidemiological assessment and wildlife disease management

Summary

Geographical information systems (GIS) facilitate the incorporation of spatial relationships into epidemiological investigations of wildlife diseases. Consisting of data input, management, analysis and presentation components, GIS act as an integrative technology in that a range of very varied data sources can be combined which describe different aspects of the environment of wild animals. The analytical functionality of GIS is still evolving, and ranges from visual to exploratory and modelling methods. Output generated by GIS in map format has the particular advantage of allowing implicit representation of spatial dependence relationships in an intuitive manner. The technology is becoming an essential component of modern disease surveillance systems.

Keywords Epidemiology - Geographical information systems - Spatial analysis - Wildlife. D.U. Pfeiffer

(1)

& M. Hugh-Jones

(2)

(1) Epidemiology Division, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, United Kingdom

(2) Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisana 70803-8404, United States of America

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