Title: Introduction to Health Geographic Information System GIS
Keywords: Quantitative methods
Country: Germany
Institution: Germany - Center for International Health at the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München
Course coordinator: Dr. Daniela Koller
Date start: 2025-02-24
Date end: 2025-02-28
About duration and dates: 5 days face-to-face course in Munich. Pre-course assignments 45 hours (will be sent two weeks before course start), exam in class.
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location: CIHLMU Teaching and Training Unit at the Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine
Address: Türkenstraße 89, 80799 Munich, Germany#

For inquiries and applications:
PD Dr Guenter Froeschl (ttu@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)
ECTS credit points: 3 ECTS credits
Total SIT: 90 hours
Pre-course assignments (self-study): 45 SIT hours
Classroom sessions (face-to-face): 45 SIT hours
Language: English
At the end of the module, the participants are able to:
● critically discuss the relationship between health and geography
● explain spatial disparities in health
● apply GPS methods to create maps on health indicators in a given environment
● apply basic functions of a geographic information system (GIS) for spatial distribution and analysis in epidemiology
● discuss underlying problems of the analysis with spatial data
Assessment Procedures:
In class formative assessment including:
● presentation of the pre-reading assignment in working groups (not graded)
Summative assessment:
● practical implementation of the course content (using provided data and software to generate a map based on this data; summative assessment, 75% of final grade)
● compilation of a written short report on methods used and possible advantages and limitations of the methods to consider (summative assessment, 25% of final grade)
● Students need to accumulate a total of 60% in each part in order to pass. (Grades A-D as pass, F for fail).
● Exam time: 60 minutes.

Re-sit option: In case of failing the exam, students will be given a re-sit option with the same prerequisites as the original exam. This exam can, in case of absence, be taken remotely and can be turned in online. A failed report can be re-submitted on the same topic by incorporating feedback from the course facilitator.

● Theoretical background on concepts of Health Geography and Spatial Epidemiology
● Use of Geographic Information Systems in Epidemiology and Health Care
● Selected quantitative methods used in Health Geography and Spatial Epidemiology, in particular multilevel modelling and spatial autocorrelation, including its limitations
● Using examples from research experience, the spatial distribution of diseases and factors influencing health will be presented as well as geographical aspects of health care.
● Processing of self-collected data into a geographical information system (GIS) and analysis of it
● Creation and presentation of maps on different health topics.
The advanced module includes a pre-course self-study, face-to-face lectures and practical exercises:
● Prior to the class, participants will be given a set of questions to be answered in self-study. To prepare the formative assessment, the main texts are given (see pre-reading list). The results will be discussed in small groups during class and presented (total 45 hours SIT self-study, plus 2 hours SIT face-to-face group work).
● Face-to-face lectures on theoretical and methodological backgrounds. These lectures are complemented by group discussions including knowledge from pre-reading assignments and participants’ background (20 hours SIT).
● Practical application will be taught through a field trip where participants apply a GPS application to collect their own data (8 hours SIT).
● This data will then be used to teach GIS software in computer class. The data will be digitalised, displayed and analysed to teach the steps and potential mistakes in mapmaking for health-related questions (15 hours SIT).
Proof of English fluency: tropEd students from an accredited tropEd home institution who have passed a core course in English language will be considered sufficiently fluent in English language. Also students who can provide proof of academic education on Bachelor level passed in English language will be considered sufficiently fluent. Applicants not being able to provide either of these criteria will be asked to prove fluency by a TOEFL (iBT score >= 79) or IELTS (score >=6.0) competency.

General computer skills in order to be able to conduct analyses with the GIS software (freeware will be provided, no programing skills are necessary), background in health-related field and a basic knowledge in quantitative methods are crucial in order to be able to follow the course.
For the GIS work, a computer laboratory is used, where PCs will be provided to each participant. However, participants have to bring a laptop (PC with Windows 7 or newer) with at least 1 GB disc space available, in order to cater for possible computer laboratory shortages and independent work.
Max. number of participants: 15 (herein number of troped students not limited)
Participants are selected on a first come, first serve basis
Fees: EUR 600.-

Cancellation policy: For cancellations made before the registration deadline, a non-refundable fee of 100 EUR will be charged. For cancellations made after the registration deadline until the course start, a non-refundable fee of 300 EUR will be charged. In case of no-shows or cancellations from the start of the course, the full course fee will be charged.
Scholarships: None
Major changes since initial accreditation:
Any changes in course coordinator, objectives, content, learning methods, assessment procedures need to be described with a short explanation about the reason for this change.
No major changes occurred since the start of the course. During the pandemic, as part of the tropEd interim option, the course was run online, but then reverted fully back to in-presence.
Student evaluation:
Provide a summary of the student evaluations (positive and negative aspects) and any other major feedback received
Students expressed that the course fully met their expectations, found the level of difficulty and time and study volume to the point. The content and delivery was rated entirely as good or very good. The participants wished the balance between theoretical and practical part to be more on practical exercises.
Lessons learned:
Both participants and course responsibles are content with the course. The course helps students to add to their research repertoire. We try to add some more practicals, however without neglecting the important theoretical part.
tropEd accreditation: Accredited in January 2019. Re-Accredited in Febr. Online GA 2024. This accreditation is valid until February 2029.
Remarks: Pre-reading list (mandatory; articles have to be retrieved independently by participants):
Musa, G. et al: Use of GIS Mapping as a Public Health Tool—From Cholera to Cancer. Health Services Insights 2013:6 111–116 doi:10.4137/HSI.S10471.

Elliot, P.; Wartenberg, D.: Spatial Epidemiology: Current Approaches and Future Challenges. Environ Health Perspect
112:998–1006 (2004). doi:10.1289/ehp.6735.

Dummer, T.: Health geography: supporting public health policy
and planning. CMAJ. 2008 Apr 22;178(9):1177-80. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.071783.
Email Address: ttu@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Date Of Record Creation: 2018-10-31 09:51:31 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2018-10-31 14:21:09 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2020-12-03 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2024-07-10 10:12:00 (W3C-DTF)