Geospatial Analysis – A 21st Century Skill

Date posted: 
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Geospatial information (GI) identifies the geographic location of natural and built objects. When combined with other forms of data, it can provide extremely valuable information for a myriad of business, government, university or consumer applications.

For this reason, the analysis of Geospatial data has the power to effectively inform decision making and policy development related to a wide range of issues from health services and natural resources to emergency response and disease surveillance.

Because of the rapidly expanding world of Geospatial analytics, it can also serve both big picture and in-depth perspectives of significant application for innovation across sectors.  Recent studies such as The Canadian Geomatics Environmental Scan Findings Report  and The Value Study Findings Report are highlighting these strengths and clearly demonstrating the need to actively adopt geospatial tools and technologies across a multitude of sectors.

As our global connections worldwide become more and more intertwined, geospatial knowledge has an important role to play in supporting the social and environmental health of interdependent societies. Knowing how to incorporate space into health research is an essential 21 century – geospatial data is collected everywhere from iphones and fitbits to drones and environmental sensors – it has the ability to shape the way we live for the betterment of our society.

To learn more about this topic and for information on course offerings, visit

Anders Erickson research predominantly focuses on the spatial and environmental epidemiology of non-communicable diseases and the social determinants of health. He is currently a post-doctoral research and teaching fellow with the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and is the instructor for the Spatial Epidemiology and Outbreak Detection course being offered this September 2018.

“I’ve been working with geospatial data to gain insights into health for many years and I really value the importance of environmental research that explores the social and behavioral factors influencing the health of our world. I’m excited to share my passion for geospatial analysis with my student colleagues in the upcoming Spatial Epidemiology course”.


Page last revised: June 19, 2018