GIS and Public Health

Second Edition

Ellen K. Cromley and Sara L. McLafferty

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
September 20, 2011
ISBN 9781609187507
Price: $89.00 $75.65
503 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
October 28, 2011
Price: $89.00 $75.65
503 Pages
print + e-book
Hardcover + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $178.00 $97.90
503 Pages
Professors: free copies available for adoption consideration
Download an e-book copy now or order a print copy

Authoritative and comprehensive, this is the leading text and professional resource on using geographic information systems (GIS) to analyze and address public health problems. Basic GIS concepts and tools are explained, including ways to access and manage spatial databases. The book presents state-of-the-art methods for mapping and analyzing data on population, health events, risk factors, and health services, and for incorporating geographical knowledge into planning and policy. Numerous maps, diagrams, and real-world applications are featured. The companion Web page provides lab exercises with data that can be downloaded for individual or course use.

New to This Edition

“Cromley and McLafferty have made substantial but worthwhile revisions ultimately adding over 150 new pages of material and revising much of the original text….A substantial addition to the volume comes in the form of online support for the more practical aspects of the book. Given the applied nature of topics covered, the addition of exercises providing examples for readers to work through and try out concepts themselves is welcomed….A highly commendable book for students and practitioners alike….It performs a good overview role with plenty of references.”

International Planning Studies

“I can think of no better geographers than Ellen Cromley and Sara McLafferty for presenting the methodologies and research findings of GIS for health.”

The Geographical Review

“Comprehensive, well-structured, well-illustrated, and well-written....Instructors will find a wealth of illustrative examples of applications.”

Economic Geography

“Cromley and McLafferty have done it again! They’ve written the most comprehensive text available on GIS applications for public health. The last several years have seen rapid growth in public health applications of GIS, technological developments in mapping and imagery, and the availability of public health data, all of which are addressed in the book. Other updates in the second edition include reorganization of material, international applications, and a chapter on health disparities. The authors have outdone themselves with the clarity, completeness, and relevance of this book. Whether you’re new to the practice of public health GIS or an experienced GIS user, you will benefit from the wealth of material provided.”

—Carol Hanchette, Department of Geography and Geosciences, University of Louisville

“Cromley and McLafferty provide a thorough overview of the field. I have used the first edition as a text in my graduate-level introductory spatial methods class, and plan to use the second edition as well. I appreciate the book's extensive coverage of important information about GIS applications in public health research and practice.”

—Robin Puett, School of Public Health, University of Maryland

“A much-needed introduction to GIS for students, faculty, and professionals preparing to research or practice in public health. The second edition illustrates many new developments in the use of geospatial data, including spatial analysis methods now widely available on the Internet. It defines the terminology of GIS and shows how spatial analysis methods are used to understand and improve health. International in scope, the book covers mapping of disease rates, access to health services, environmental hazards and their health effects, diffusion of infectious diseases, community influences on health behavior, and the ecology of vector-borne diseases.”

—Gerard Rushton, Department of Geography, University of Iowa

GIS and Public Health was already one of the most respected texts in the field, and the second edition does not disappoint. The authors have retained the strengths of the original–clear, concise, and practical introductions to GIS, geospatial data, spatial thinking, and spatial analysis in public health science–and have added important new content. I have found this text more rewarding to use in teaching and to consult for my own work than any other single book in the field.”

—Stephen A. Matthews, Population Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University

Table of Contents


1. Geographic Information Systems

2. Spatial Data

3. Spatial Databases for Public Health

4. Mapping Health Information

5. Analyzing Spatial Clustering of Health Events

6. Analyzing Environmental Hazards

7. Analyzing the Risk and Spread of Infectious Diseases

8. Exploring the Ecology of Vector-Borne Disease

9. Analyzing Access to Health Services

10. Locating Health Services

11. Health Disparities

12. Public Participation GIS and Community Health

About the Authors

Ellen K. Cromley is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington. Previously, she was Professor of Geography at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Dr. Cromley’s research is primarily concerned with geographical patterns of health and disease, health facility location, and GIS design to support public health surveillance and intervention programs. She has published articles in geography, epidemiology, public health, and health services journals.

Sara L. McLafferty is Professor of Geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In her research she explores the use of spatial statistical methods and GIS for understanding health and social issues in cities, as well as gender and racial disparities in geographical access to services and employment opportunities. Dr. McLafferty has published articles in geography, epidemiology, and urban studies journals and is an Associate Editor of the journal Health and Place.


Students and instructors in geography and public health; practicing professionals in public health and epidemiology.

Course Use

Serves as a text in advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level geography courses (such as GIS or Public Health) and public health courses (such as GIS or Mapping).
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 2002
ISBN: 9781572307070
New to this edition: