Fall 2019 - HSCI 890 G100

Special Topics in Health Sciences (4)

Strategic Applications of GIS in Health

Class Number: 8035

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Wed, Fri, 12:30–2:20 p.m.



Special topics in areas not currently covered within the graduate program offerings.


This course GIS analysis and Remote Sensing methods, taking examples of the socio-environmental factors for social, mental and physical health of people. The concept of scale is introduced, as the case studies include neighborhood, town, city, regional and continent sized examples. The GIS is focussed on statistical analysis and the creation of analytical maps, while the remote sensing uses GIS software to analyze satellite images. Both examine the environmental and social issues surrounding health care and policies.

Applications of geographical information systems (GIS) to health issues at global, national and local levels are examined. Issues include political, economic, social and environmental factors for human health. These include any factors and impacts that may be documented and analysed spatially. Methodological approaches for the detection, assessment and management of such issues.


Upon completion of this course students will be able to:
1. Define key terms and describe methods used in GIS, spatial statistics and parameters for the assessment of health issues at international, national and local levels.
2. Interpret scientific research on GIS applications to health issues.


  • First Assignment 30%
  • Second Assignment 30%
  • Final Exam 40%



Students will have a desktop computer with ArcMap, Microsoft Word and Excel and Google, which will be used for exercises. 
The class exercises will be based on:
1. ArcMap vector-based analysis and map creation. These will form the basis of the GIS based projects.
2. ArcMap raster-based analysis and map creation.
3. Statistical analysis of numerical data using Microsoft Excel.
4. Internet based data mining and report writing
5. Multimedia, where these methods may be combined in various proportions, to illustrate complex geomatics-based analysis.


Selected articles will be placed online for students.


Selected articles will be placed online for students.
ISBN: 978-0134874104

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html