The re-elaboration of John Snow’s map in a GIS environment. Input for transferring methodological and applied skills being inspired by a virtuous practical example of social utility
AbstractJohn Snow’s map made it possible to save many human lives by interrupting the spread of cholera, in an areaof London in 1854 after the study of a relevant number of cases which allowed him to put his assumptions andresearch into practice. His work had a crucial role for future developments of epidemiology and provided thebasis for (geo)spatial discussions and density studies in relation to risk factors and his insights enabledcartographic and successively GIS approaches, as support to medical studies, to have remarkable advances. Inthis contribution – conceived on the basis of a practical initiative held for the GIS Day 2019 Medical geographyand GIS applications for social utility (Rome, 11 November 2019) – we propose a re-elaboration of JohnSnow’s map in a GIS environment, underlining how demonstrative-laboratory activities focused on specificcases can provide remarkable inputs for transferring methodological and applied skills, being inspired by avirtuous example of social utility. In particular, we discuss and provide guidelines for the application ofgeoreferencing, editing and Kernel Density for a modern John Snow’s map and to provide several inputs foranalysing today’s diseases and relative risk factors, also at the light of new functionalities which make itpossible to spread the results of the work. Some considerations are also provided regarding the importanceof didactical activities adequately thought out and planned and held in geocartographic laboratories orspecially equipped GIS lecture halls, since they can contribute to a rigorous geographical education withlinks to modern sectors of interdisciplinary research. As support for this specific case, the main results arepresented of a short questionnaire submitted to the participants at the demonstrative-application coursefocused on the re-elaboration in a GIS environment of John Snow’s map.
Arnold D., “Cholera and Colonialism in British India”, Past & Present, 113, 1986, pp. 118-151.
Boxall J., “From Snow to GIS librarians: the case for health GIS and informatics within the library”, Journal of Map & Geography Libraries, 7, 1, 2011, pp. 114-118.
Chias P. and Abad T., “Geolocating and Georeferencing: GIS Tools for Ancient Maps Visualisation”, Proceedings of 13th International Conference Information Visualisation, 2009, pp. 529-538.
Cromley E.K. and McLafferty S.L., GIS and Public Health, New York – London, The Guilford Press, 2012.
Dangermond J. and Pesaresi C., “The power of GIS language”, J-READING (Journal of Research and Didactics in Geography), 2, 7, 2018, pp. 7-12.
Davenport J.R, Satchell M. and Shaw- Taylor L.M.W. “Cholera as a ‘sanitary test’ of British cities, 1831-1866”, The History of the Family, 24, 2, 2019, pp. 404-438.
De Blij H.J., Geografia umana. Cultura, società, spazio (or. title Human Geography. Culture, Society, and Space), Bologna, Zanichelli, 1994.
Delmelle E., Zhu H., Tang Q and Casas I., “A web-based geospatial toolkit for the monitoring of dengue fever”, Applied Geography, 52, 2014, pp. 144-152.
Giannini M., “Representing the territory: The layer The landscape as it was of WebGIS Visual-Versilia.com”, in Albanese V., Greco V. and Proto M. (Eds.), Geography and the ICT: New technologies & geographical research, Bonomia University Press, 2018, pp. 85-98.
Koch T. and Denike K., “Medical Mapping: The Revolution in Teaching – and Using – Maps for the Analysis of Medical Issues”, Journal of Geography, 103, 2, 2004, pp. 76- 85.
Koch T. and Denike K., “Essential, Illustrative, or ... Just Propaganda? Rethinking John Snow’s Broad Street Map”, Cartographica, 45, 1, 2010, pp. 19-31.
MacQuillan E., Curtis A., Baker K., Paul R. and Back Y., “Using GIS Mapping to Target Public Health Interventions: Examining Birth Outcomes Across GIS Techniques”, Journal of Community Health, 42, 2017, pp. 633-638.
McLeod K.S., “Our sense of Snow: the myth of John Snow in medical geography”, Social Science & Medicine, 50, 2000, pp. 923-935.
Mennonna G. et al., “Geographical information system analysis on road accidents involving wandering dogs in the urban area of Naples”, Geospatial Health, 13, 628, 2018, pp. 259-264.
Mullner R.M., Chung K., Croke K.G. and Mensah E.K., “Geographic Information Systems in Public Health and Medicine”, Journal of Medical Systems, 28, 3, 2004, pp. 215-221.
Musa G.J. et al., “Use of GIS Mapping as a Public Health Tool—From Cholera to Cancer”, Health Services Insights, 6, 2013, pp. 111-116.
Nykiforuk C.I.J. and Flaman L.M., Exploring the Utilization of Geographic Information Systems in Health Promotion and Public Health, Technical Report #08- 001, Centre for Health Promotion Studies School of Public Health University of Alberta, 2008.
Nykiforuk C.I.J. and Flaman L.M., “Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Health Promotion and Public Health: A Review”, Health Promotion Practice, 12, 1, 2011, pp. 63-73.
Palagiano C. and Pesaresi C., La salute nel mondo. Geografia medica e qualità della vita, Rome, Carocci, 2011.
Pesaresi C., Applicazioni GIS. Principi metodologici e linee di ricerca. Esercitazioni ed esemplificazioni guida, Novara, UTET – De Agostini, 2017.
Pesaresi C., “From Education to Job Opportunities. Defining Professional Profiles for Geographers with High Competences in GIS Environment”, in Tambassi T. (Ed.), The Philosophy of GIS, Springer, 2019a, pp. 253- 264.
Pesaresi C., “Geographical Health Education for knowing and preventing risk factors”, J-READING (Journal of Research and Didactics in Geography), 1, 8, 2019b, pp. 5-26.
Pesaresi C. and Pavia D., “Progettualità mirate e corsi GIS: per un approccio geografico coinvolgente e professionalizzante”, in Pasquinelli d’Allegra D., Pavia D. and Pesaresi C. (Eds.), Geografia per l’inclusione. Partecipazione attiva contro le disuguaglianze, Milan, Franco Angeli, 2017, pp. 110- 124.
Pfeiffer D.U., Robinson T.P., Stevenson M., Stevens K.B., Rogers D.J. and Clements A.C.A., Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology, New York, Oxford University Press, 2008.
Ramsay M.A.E., “John Snow, MD: anaesthetist to the Queen of England and pioneer epidemiologist”, Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, 19, 1, 2006, pp. 24-28.
Ratti B., “Geographic Knowledge. Paradigm of Society 5.0”, J-READING (Journal of Research and Didactics in Geography), 1, 7, 2018, pp. 123-126.
Ricketts T.C., “Geographic Information Systems and Public Health”, Annual Review of Public Health, 24, 2003, pp. 1-6.
Shephard D.A.E., “History of Anaesthesia. John Snow and Research”, Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, 36, 2, 1989, pp. 224- 241.
Shiode N., Shiode S., Rod-Thatcher E., Rana S. and Vinten-Johansen P., “The mortality rates and the space-time patterns of John Snow’s cholera epidemic map”, International Journal of Health Geographics, 14, 21, 2015, pp. 16.
Shiode S., “Revisiting John Snow’s map: network-based spatial demarcation of cholera area”, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 26, 1, 2012, pp. 133-150.
Snow J., On the mode of communication of cholera, London, John Churchill, New Burlington Street, 1855.
The Author assigns to the Nuova Cultura and to Italian Association of Geography Teachers all rights under copyright that can exist in and to the submitted paper. The Author warrants that the paper and images (photos, maps, graphs etc.) are original and that he/she is the Author of the submitted contribution and its parts; in the case of images taken by other publications, the Author must provide a specific authorization and must pay in advance any copyright.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.