The American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting: Building an International Geospatial Health Research Network (IGRHN)

I had the opportunity to spend a few days last week in Washington, D.C. at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, where I presented a poster on research that explores access to treatment for opioid use disorder in high-need areas (maps below). My poster was part of the Geospatial Health Research Poster Session, which was one of many health-focused sessions at the conference.


On Friday, I was fortunate enough to spend the afternoon listening to global health experts discuss possibilities and opportunities related to building an international geospatial health research network (IGHRN).IGHRN is a relatively new initiative focused on building international networks of research and data sharing to address the most pressing issues facing the world today. Given the increasing access to big data across the world, it makes sense to try and create a network that can leverage these data to improve global health.

I, along with the rest of the HealthLandscape crew, am excited to see how the IGHRN develops over the next few years and to explore opportunities for collaboration. For example, we are working on updating and improving our World Health Explorer (coming summer of 2019), which is an online mapping tool that allows users to map dozens of country-level health indicators and explore trends over time.

HealthLandscape was built on collecting big data from disparate sources and developing novel visualization methods so users can gain new insights that would not have been possible if the data had remained siloed. 

Michael Topmiller, PhD
Health GIS Research Specialist, HealthLandscape


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