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Geospatial Analysis Center

GIS and Sociology

Health and human service organizations share a mission with others worldwide to help people achieve the highest levels of physical and social well-being. GIS technology helps leverage limited resources and multiply the positive impact of benefits to individuals, families, and society.

With organizational and analysis tools, GIS improves understanding of the situation, what is needed, and how to intervene with prevention and mitigation strategies when necessary.

Following are recent examples of how GIS is integrated into various aspects of the field of Sociology:

  • Researchers and analysts at Michigan State University are using GIS to identify food deserts and visualize the nutritional terrain of American cities
  • GIS is supporting health extension workers in Ethiopia by identifying communities and available resources as the workers plan and reach out to vulnerable households
  • With the aid of GIS, the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance in Philadelphia was able to streamline their meal delivery service to families living with life-threatening illness
  • The Alabama Department of Children's Affairs uses GIS as a fast and economical way to share information as it works to implement solutions in order to bring together communities and state and federal agencies in support of children
  • The city of London, Ontario is using GIS to map inner-city populations living in food deserts, and provide answers to public health concerns
  • Illinois is taking a geographic approach to foster care, by using GIS as part of the process for matching a child in need of foster care to a home in the same community so the foster child can remain in the area and continue going to the same school

Produce Accessibility Map

A map showing the number of produce items that are accessible by pedestrians given a 10-minute travel time in Lansing, Michigan


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