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Geography, GIScience, and Health: Spatial Frontiers of Health Research and Practice

Building on several recent AAG initiatives together with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a special Symposium has been organized within the AAG Annual Meeting to explore new research frontiers in health and social environments, and also address progress generated by the AAG Initiative for an NIH-wide Geospatial Infrastructure for Health Research. These AAG initiatives have generated an increased awareness by health researchers as well as geographers of the core role that geography and GIScience can play in addressing global health needs, both in research and in practice.

Nearly 40 sessions are running on three concurrent tracks from Wednesday-Friday with presentations by leading medical and health researchers, geographers, and GIScientists. Examples of session topics include health disparities and inequalities, obesity, spatial patterns of drug abuse and treatment, gene-environment interactions, disease ecologies, neighborhood effects on health behaviors and outcomes, geographies of public health policies, spatial analysis and modeling of disease, health care provision, access, and utilization, health and well-being, methodological issues in health research, and more. A day-long series of sessions that focuses on geospatial data confidentiality and data sharing has also been scheduled on Tuesday, April 9 in connection with the Symposium.

The Symposium will begin with the “Opening Plenary on Geography, GIScience, and Health: Spatial Frontiers of Health Research and Practice” on Wednesday morning, April 10, at 10:00 a.m. in Hollywood Ballroom, Westin, Level 3. Organized and chaired by AAG Executive Director, Douglas Richardson, this plenary will include prominent researchers working at the intersections of health and geography, including Robert J. Sampson, Mei-Po Kwan and Robert Kaplan (invited).

An “Author Meets Critics” session is also organized for Robert J. Sampson’s book, Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect, on Wednesday, April 10 from 4:40 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. in Hollywood Ballroom, Westin, Level 3.

A concluding plenary “Synthesis, Trends, and Directions for Geography, GIScience, and Health: Spatial Frontiers of Health Research and Practice” will be held on Friday, April 12 at 4:40 p.m. in Hollywood Ballroom, Westin, Level 3. Mei-Po Kwan will chair this plenary, joined by Sara McLafferty and Mark Rosenberg to discuss future trends and directions for research and practice, with David Berrigon, Wilson Compton, and Bethany Deeds from NIH.

Session Numbers in this track: 1129, 1229, 1429, 1529, 1629, 2226, 2427, 2428, 2527, 2528, 2529, 2626, 2627, 2628, 3127, 3128, 3129, 3227, 3228, 3229, 3427, 3428, 3429, 3527, 3528, 3529, 3627, 3628, 4127, 4128, 4227, 4228, 4229, 4427, 4428, 4429, 4527, 4528, 4529, 4626 (Symposium posters are included in sessions 3521 and 4521)

The Symposium is organized by:

Mei-Po Kwan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Utrecht University), Co-Chair
Sara McLafferty (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Co-Chair
David Balshaw (National Institutes of Health - NIEHS)
Ling Bian (University at Buffalo, State University of New York)
Amy Blatt (Quest Diagnostics)
Kimberly Brouwer (University of California, San Diego)
Bethany Deeds (National Institutes of Health - NIDA)
Martin Dijst (Utrecht University)
Michael Emch (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Debarchana Ghosh (University of Connecticut)
Mike Goodchild (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Sue Grady (Michigan State University)
Tim Hawthorne (Georgia State University)
Poh Chin Lai (University of Hong Kong)
Jonathan Mayer (University of Washington)
Jean McKendry (Association of American Geographers)
Douglas Richardson (Association of American Geographers)
Mark Rosenberg (Queen’s University)
Gerard Rushton (University of Iowa)
Tim Schwanen (Oxford University)
Zaria Tatalovich (National Institutes of Health - NCI)
Jinfeng Wang (Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Symposium on Space-Time Integration in Geography and GIScience

AAG Annual Meeting: Seattle 2011

A special Symposium focused on the research status, recent advances and research needs of space-time integration, modeling and analysis in geography and GIScience was organized within the 2011 AAG Annual Meeting. Space-time analysis is a rapidly growing research frontier in geography, GIS, and GIScience. Advances in integrated GPS/GIS technologies, the availability of large datasets (over time and space), and increased capacity to manage, integrate, model and visualize complex data in (near) real time, offer the GIS and geography communities extraordinary opportunities to begin to integrate sophisticated space-time analysis and models in the study of complex environmental and social systems, from climate change to infectious disease transmission.

Nearly 60 sessions were held on four concurrent tracks from Wednesday-Friday of the conference. Geographers, GIScientists, modelers, computer programmers, GPS/GIS scientists, climate change scientists, epidemiologists, ecologists, planners, transportation experts, and others with active research expertise in integrating space–time in GIS and geography participated. This special Symposium built on momentum from a space-time analysis workshop sponsored by the AAG, Esri, the University of Redlands, and University of Southern California in early 2010, as well as other recent initiatives.

The Symposium opened with a "Space-Time Integration in Geography and GIScience: Opening Plenary" on Wednesday morning, April 13, at 8:00 a.m. (Grand Ballroom ABCD - Sheraton Hotel, Second Floor). Organized and chaired by AAG Executive Director Douglas Richardson, this plenary included presentations on current research trends by prominent theorists and pioneers in space-time GIScience and technology research, including Michael Goodchild, Mei-Po Kwan, and Tomoki Nakaya. Concurrent sessions were organized into the following four tracks: Diverse Perspectives on Advancing Theory, Modeling, and Methods; Developments in Key Topical Areas; A Focus on the Environment; and Historical GIS and Gazetteers. A concluding "Space-Time Integration in Geography and GIScience Discussion: Trends and Directions" session was held on Friday, April 15 at 1:45 p.m. (Willow B - Sheraton Hotel, Second Floor). Richardson, Goodchild, Kwan, and Nakaya re-assembled for a panel to discuss future trends and directions for research on space-time integration based on the wide range of Symposium presentations.

Symposium Organizers were:

  • Michael Goodchild – University of California - Santa Barbara
  • Douglas Richardson – Association of American Geographers
  • Mei-Po Kwan – Ohio State University
  • Peter Bol – Harvard University
  • Luc Anselin – Arizona State University
  • Kathleen Stewart – University of Iowa
  • Tomoki Nakaya – Ritsumeikan University, Japan
  • Dan Griffith – University of Texas at Dallas
  • Scott Bell – University of Saskatchewan
  • Martin Dijst – Utrecht University, the Netherlands J
  • eremy Mennis – Temple University
  • Wendy Guan – Harvard University
  • Elizabeth Wentz – Arizona State University
  • Michael Gould – Environmental Systems Research Institute
  • Donggen Wang – Hong Kong Baptist University, China
  • Harvey Miller – University of Utah
  • Jean McKendry – Association of American Geographers
  • May Yuan – University of Oklahoma
  • Seraphim Alvanides – Northumbria University, UK
  • Sara Fabrikant – University of Zurich




Download the Symposium Sessions by Title [pdf]

Download the Sympsosium Sessions by Schedule  [pdf]

Download an Overview of a Mini-Track on Geospatial Confidentiality [pdf] (scheduled Tuesday, April 9)