Defining Electronic Health Technologies and Their Benefits for Global Health Program Managers: Geospatial Analysis
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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation
Geospatial analysis can be described as the use of geographic data (such as GPS coordinates, street names, or other geographic identifiers) to identify spatial relationships, patterns, and trends in data. This can include statistical methods, spatial statistics techniques (such as interpolation or network analysis), or the layering of different geographically coded data sets in order to discover geographic patterns in data using a geographic information system, or GIS.
Geographic information systems enable the linking of data sets with geographic data to spatially assess relationships and trends. In health, geospatial analysis software is used to discover patterns of disease outbreaks and their response to interventions; identify catchment areas for health facilities; and identify areas of high priority for investment and interventions.
Spatial analysis and metrics can also be calculated to go beyond simply displaying data on a map. For instance, network analysis allows you to estimate time for travel based on the road network, rather than just straight-line estimates of distance. All of these analyses can be pivotal for better health program management and program targeting.
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