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The University of Southampton
Population Health

Disease Ecology Meeting Event

Origin: 
Time:
12:00 - 13:00
Date:
12 November 2014
Venue:
Room 1087 Building 44 Highfield Campus

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Nicola Wardrop on 023 8059 4612 or email Nicola.Wardrop@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

VECMAP: A one-stop-shop for vector–borne disease mapping

In a European setting, there has been an increased awareness of the risk of vector –borne diseases; those carried by insects such as mosquitos and ticks. This heightened risk stems from factors such as climate and land use change and transport of goods and people between endemic disease areas allowing these insects to establish into new territories. The European Space Agency (ESA) has funded the VECMAP project to facilitate the risk mapping of such emerging diseases from a public health and strategic planning perspective. Creating such disease risk maps is commonly a specialised process involving field survey campaigns, gathering of remotely sensed covariate data and application of statistical models. The key aim of VECMAP was to have a software package that simplifies this workflow and allows non-specialist users in mathematical modelling, GIS and remote sensing to be able to create disease risk maps.

The VECMAP system is built around a user-friendly GIS interface. Initially, the user plans a field campaign using spatial sampling tools. Fieldwork is executed with the aid of smartphones which not only give navigational help, but upload collected data directly to a central database. Risk maps can then be created using a suite of state-of-the art mathematical models. Models are created within the R statistical software which runs behind the scenes in VECMAP, all input is GUI based and the user is guided step-by-step through the modelling process. Covariates for modelling are remote sensing data supplied by ESA, usually on a project-by-project basis.

VECMAP as a complete package, with full user-support is a commercial application. However, the user-friendly modelling component, along with a set of MODIS imagery is freely available for academic/non-profit use as VECMAPLite.

These meetings are intended for everyone with an interest in disease ecology, spatial epidemiology and the types of spatial analysis and modelling methods that may be used in this field. There will also be a lot of relevance in some of our meetings for researchers in similar fields (e.g. species distribution modelling, health geography).

All are welcome to join us – it’s a great opportunity to get together and discuss on-going research, methods, conferences, publications and more in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Feel free to bring your lunch.

The list of upcoming meetings is kept up to date here.

Speaker information

Dr David Morley,Faculty of Medicine,Imperial College London

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