severely hampered by the limited availability of geographically referenced, geocoded health data. It is further hampered by the fragmentary nature of many of the available datasets, which are not coordinated, collated, or concatenated. These issues threaten progress in this area of science and may, in the long run, exacerbate disease that results from human-environment interactions. Accordingly, the committee suggests that:

  1. There should be improved coordination between agencies that collect health data, and health data should be merged to the greatest degree possible and made available in formats that are compatible with GIScience analysis.

  2. Creative solutions to existing restrictions on obtaining geographically specific health data should be investigated, with the goal of defining a geospatially relevant pixel definition that allows predictive and causal analysis while maintaining individual patient privacy. Data made available by federal, state, and county agencies should be geocoded and geographically referenced to this scale. Legitimate concerns over confidentiality could be further addressed by restricting the release of data to investigators operating under the oversight of Institutional Review Boards.



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