Introduction to Quantum GIS: Improve your environment and health mapping with this workshop on Open Source GIS Software

The “GIS for Public Health” 1 day workshop introduced a Geographic Information System (GIS) as a tool for use in public health research. This workshop was aimed at public health practitioners who had little or no experience in using GIS and wanted to develop the skills to link spatially referenced data to health data.

It included an introduction to GIS for health research and several computer based practical sessions so that attendees were able to gain practical experience of generating environmental exposure data. This could be exposure to either hazards or health promoting facilities. These data were then suitable for linking to health data, for example, anonymised health data held in the SAIL databank.

The workshop was taught using the leading open source desktop GIS package Quantum GIS, with the software available to freely download. This course outlined the principles of Geographical Information Systems and valuable methods for public health research.