Distributed geospatial data management for entomological and epidemiological studies

Hugo Martins, Jorge G. Rocha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are now considered a valuable and essential tool to epidemiology. Epidemiological phenomena are strongly associated with spatial and temporal factors, and, as such, the use of GIS for epidemiological data recording and management may help health professionals to better understand spatio-temporal disease patterns. Bluetongue (BT) is an infectious disease of domestic and wild ruminants that has recently expanded to northern areas where it was never recorded. As a consequence, several entomological surveillance programs were implemented in European countries. Since these surveillance programs are natively distributed along countries, the supporting software platforms should handle the distributed nature of the program and its related data. The authors have studied the feasibility of a distributed web based application able to support the spatial nature of the entomological data. In fact, they designed a completely new thematic Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) where all components, data, metadata, services, policies, etc., and actors from the different institutions are considered. Their aim is not only to support the BT surveillance program but also to contribute to a more detailed knowledge about the epidemiology of the disease. Since the authors were able to design all the supporting software, all syntactical interoperability was guaranteed by the use of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards. The semantic interoperability was assured by design, by developing a unique data model. Data invariants are guaranteed either by the interface, with validation routines written in Javascript, or by the data constrains included in the database. Integration and interoperability with other BT programs might require some additional effort, but all the necessary semantic translation could be encapsulated into the WFS component.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiscovery of Geospatial Resources
Subtitle of host publicationMethodologies, Technologies, and Emergent Applications
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781466609457
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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