Andrew Curtis, University of Southern California associate professor of geography, is attempting to track devastation and health hazards in dilapidated areas. His ongoing research includes a focus on real-time GIS (geographic information systems) analysis of emerging infections.
He used video cameras tied to GPS, akin to those I'm familiar with that are used to capture data about pavement quality, during Hurrican Katrina. That work was covered in the NY Times. He uses the images to do a sort of change detection. More recently, he headed to Joplin, MS to examine tornado damage and now is moving on to Haiti. In Haiti the goal is to determine where cholera might spread and how to better provide safe water sources. Neither the article, nor resources at USC explained exactly what Curtis would look for in the video data to determine where cholera would spread.
An interactive map created by The Baltimore Sun using city data illustrates many of the stark differences between city neighborhoods:
- The median income for Roland Park is 90,000 while in Upton it is 13,000.
- In the wealthiest parts of the city, people are dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory diseaseand injury.
- In the poorest parts of the city, people are dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, HIV/AIDS and homicide.
- Life expectancy also follows these trends. Life expectancy in Roland Park is 20 years higher than in Upton.
The map and data observations are helping highlight Healthy Baltimore 2015, the city's plan to target the city’s top 10 ailments.
The Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations has been tracking news reports since 2008 to produce an interactive map that plots global outbreaks of diseases that are easily prevented by inexpensive and effective vaccines. These diseases include measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, and rubella.