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Geographical Information Systems and Spatial Analysis

Medicare local ACT mapping

We use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and spatial analysis to model where people live and the environments they experience throughout their lives in order to explore the relationships between the built, natural and social environment and how these impact on health and wellbeing.

We conceptualise, measure and analyse these inter-related components from a human-ecological perspective that adopts environmental design with a population health approach to health-related policy, planning and practice. This approach emphasises the fundamental importance of understanding the dynamic interaction between individuals, households and neighbourhoods in social, cultural and physical environments which connect geographically defined communities of ‘health and place’.

Developing the evidence base for neighbourhood or ‘place-based’ effects, as well as uncovering the casual mechanisms through which they are mediated, has important and direct implications for public policy and the reduction of health disparities. Exploring specific forms of neighbourhood effects will have a high degree of relevance to health and urban policy.