GIS News

How maps and machine learning are helping to eliminate malaria

Apr 25 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Maps under tags  causes & community google earth maps

Today is World Malaria Day, a moment dedicated to raising awareness and improving access to tools to prevent malaria. The World Health Organization says nearly half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria, and estimates that in 2015 there were 212 million malaria cases resulting in 429,000 deaths. In places with high transmission rates, children under five account for 70 percent of malaria deaths.

DiSARM (Disease Surveillance and Risk Monitoring), a project led by the Malaria Elimination Initiative and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Clinton Health Access Initiative, is fighting the spread of malaria by mapping the places where malaria could occur. With the help of Google Earth Engine, DiSARM creates high resolution “risk maps” that help malaria control programs identify the areas where they should direct resources for prevention and treatment.

We sat down with Hugh Sturrock, who leads the DiSARM project and is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the University of California, San Francisco’s Global Health Group, to learn more about DiSARM’s fight against malaria, and how Google fits in.

As an epidemiologist, why did you choose to focus your efforts on malaria?

I first became interested in 2005, during my undergraduate days at the University of Edinburgh when I worked on a project examining the fungal control of mosquitoes with Professor Andrew Read. I suddenly realized that my research could have a positive impact on people’s lives and from that point on I was hooked. While malaria deaths have decreased dramatically since then, it’s still a huge public health problem.

Which regions is DiSARM targeting first?

We’re piloting DiSARM in Swaziland and Zimbabwe, two regions that are on the cusp of malaria elimination. Between 2000–2014, reported malaria cases in Swaziland decreased by 99 percent, and in 2015, Swaziland reported fewer than 400 local cases. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe achieved a 74 percent decline in reported cases from 2005–2015.

When a small number of cases in a region remain, precise intervention is required to fully eliminate malaria, and DiSARM can help fully close the gap. By focusing our resources more strategically, we can shrink the malaria map and eliminate the disease entirely in these countries.

How does DiSARM use Google Earth Engine to help fight malaria?

If we map where malaria is most likely to occur, we can target those areas for action. Every time someone is diagnosed with malaria in Swaziland and Zimbabwe, a team goes to the village where the infection occurred and collects a GPS point with the precise infection location. Just looking at these points won’t allow you to accurately determine the risk of malaria, though. You also need satellite imagery of conditions like rainfall, temperature, slope and elevation, which affect mosquito breeding and parasite development.
GeoForGood_Disarm_800px_V2.gif

To determine the risk of malaria, DiSARM combines the precise location of the malaria infection,  with satellite data of conditions like rainfall, temperature, vegetation, elevation, which affect mosquito breeding. DiSARM’s mobile app can be used by the malaria programs and field teams to target interventions.

Google Earth Engine collects and organizes the public satellite imagery data we need. In the past we had to obtain those images from a range of sources: NASA, USGS and different universities around the world. But with Google Earth Engine, it’s all in one place and can be processed using Google computers. We combine satellite imagery data from Google Earth Engine with the locations of malaria cases collected by a country’s national malaria control program, and create models that let us generate maps identifying areas at greatest risk.

DiSARM targetting.png
The DiSARM interface gives malaria programs a near real-time view of malaria and predicts risk at specific locations, such as health facility service areas, villages and schools. Overlaying data allows malaria control programs to identify high-risk areas that have insufficient levels of protection and better distribute their interventions.

How are the risk maps used?

The Swaziland and Zimbabwe national malaria control programs use risk maps to help track progress and make decisions about how best to use their resources—for example, where to spray insecticides and where to conduct health promotion campaigns. With this data, they can make these decisions in a matter of minutes, rather than days or weeks. And they have much more precise information about where to target their efforts. They can drill down and direct their spray teams to go to the individual houses most at risk. This technique improves the targeting of interventions, saving money and time for the malaria programs.
DiSARM targetting households.png
DiSARM’s targeting module uses the risk map to prioritize areas for interventions such as indoor residual spraying (IRS), insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and mass drug administration (MDA).

We’ve also developed a mobile app with instructions for field teams and the locations of buildings they need to target on an offline map. They can also use the app to collect data even if they don’t have connectivity while they’re in remote locations.

What’s next for DiSARM?

Over the next year, we’re planning to expand the platform to show not just the current malaria risk, but a forecast for the future. We believe Swaziland and Zimbabwe can eliminate malaria and we hope this tool can get them—and other countries—closer to achieving that goal. To learn more, visit disarm.io.


World Imagery Updates (April 2017)

Apr 25 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at ArcGIS Blog under tags  arcgis content arcgis online community basemaps community maps dg

In our tireless quest to enhance our World Imagery map, we have released several more updates to our imagery this month.  This includes another large batch of updates with DigitalGlobe imagery for parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and … Continue reading


What’s New in Basemaps (April 2017)

Apr 25 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at ArcGIS Blog under tags  apps april 2017 release arcgis content arcgis online basemaps

Our Community Program contributors have added new and updated map layers to Esri’s Online Basemaps. There is new and updated content for 31 communities, spanning 3 continents. They include several counties, metropolitan areas, and facility sites in Africa, Australia, Europe, … Continue reading


Patents and Cartographic Inventions

Apr 25 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at The Map Room under tags  books inventions monmonier patents uncategorised

Published late last month, Mark Monmonier’s new book, Patents and Cartographic Inventions: A New Perspective for Map History (Palgrave Macmillan) is on a somewhat more arcane and non-obvious subject than his usual fare. It’s an exploration of the U.S. patent system that focuses on map- and navigation-related inventions. The publisher’s description: “In probing evolving notions … Continue reading "Patents and Cartographic Inventions"


Real-World Tech: My Co-Op Term at Safe Software

Apr 24 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Safe Software Blog under tags  about fme co-op program employment internships

Co-op students have been an integral part of Safe Software for over 20 years, contributing to core FME technology and often returning as full-time software developers. Today we welcome Thomas Alain to the blog, a UFV student who has been a part of the FME Server team. He shares what it’s like to be a co-op at Safe, from orientation week to […]

The post Real-World Tech: My Co-Op Term at Safe Software appeared first on Safe Software Blog.


Boundless wins $36M Contract from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Apr 24 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Geoawesomeness under tags  boundlessgeo geo news geointelligence gis national geospatial-intelligence agency

Open source is thriving and in fact proving to be a great success even in enterprise markets. Boundless, one of the most recognised names in Open GIS announced earlier last week that it has been awarded a $36 million contract by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (press release). The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is the lead agency tasked […]

The post Boundless wins $36M Contract from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency appeared first on Geoawesomeness.


New night light satellite maps from NASA will be generated daily

Apr 24 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Geoawesomeness under tags  nasa remote sensing

The satellite images of Earth taken at night always hypnotizes me. They are not only beautiful, but they also give the clearest view on the human settlement patterns on our planet. From a research perspective, it creates an amazing value, but the temporal resolution of the data has always been a problem. These datasets have been […]

The post New night light satellite maps from NASA will be generated daily appeared first on Geoawesomeness.


Photo Essay: Back to Basics Agenda

Apr 24 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at The EPA Blog under tags  unassigned

The EPA just concluded two weeks of visits to Appalachia and the urban and rural mid-west. Here are some of the things we saw through the lens of our award winning photographer Eric Vance.


Local reviews in your language – wherever you are

Apr 24 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Maps under tags  maps

When you’re traveling somewhere new, two of your biggest challenges can be figuring out where to go and understanding the native language of wherever you are. The next time you’re in a foreign place and want to check out a restaurant or point of interest, Google will translate the review into the language you’ve set on your device.

The best part is that users don’t have to do a thing. Just open Google Maps or Search, search for what you’re interested in and the reviews are automatically translated. Most people will see the translated review in the language they prefer and then see the review in the native language below—eliminating the hassle of copying and pasting into a translation app or trying to decipher reviews using your pocket-sized translation book. Here’s what it looks like in action:

Screenshot

So next time you find yourself in a faraway land wondering which ramen shop is the best or which gelato place is most authentic—just sit back, relax and let Google Maps and Search bridge the language barrier.


Local reviews in your language–wherever you are

Apr 24 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Maps under tags  maps

When you’re traveling somewhere new, two of your biggest challenges can be figuring out where to go and understanding the native language of wherever you are. The next time you’re in a foreign place and want to check out a restaurant or point of interest, Google will translate the review into the language you’ve set on your device.

The best part is that you don’t have to do a thing. Just open Google Maps or Search, search for what you’re interested in and the reviews are automatically translated. Most people will see the translated review in the language they prefer and then see the review in the native language below—eliminating the hassle of copying and pasting into a translation app or trying to decipher reviews using your pocket-sized translation book. Here’s what it looks like in action:

LocalReviews_Languages.png

So next time you find yourself in a faraway land wondering which ramen shop is the best or which gelato place is most authentic—just sit back, relax and let Google Maps and Search bridge the language barrier.


Local reviews in your language–wherever you are

Apr 24 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Maps under tags  maps

When you’re traveling somewhere new, two of your biggest challenges can be figuring out where to go and understanding the native language of wherever you are. The next time you’re in a foreign place and want to check out a restaurant or point of interest, Google will translate the review into the language you’ve set on your device.

The best part is that you don’t have to do a thing. Just open Google Maps or Search, search for what you’re interested in and the reviews are automatically translated. Most people will see the translated review in the language they prefer and then see the review in the native language below—eliminating the hassle of copying and pasting into a translation app or trying to decipher reviews using your pocket-sized translation book. Here’s what it looks like in action:

TranslationScreenshot

So next time you find yourself in a faraway land wondering which ramen shop is the best or which gelato place is most authentic—just sit back, relax and let Google Maps and Search bridge the language barrier.


Update on Waymo vs. Uber

Apr 24 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at In The Scan under tags  the industry

As background Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Google parent company Alphabet, sued Uber in February for patent infringement and theft of trade secrets. Waymo claims that its former employee Levandowski downloaded 14,000 confidential files before leaving to launch … Continue reading

The post Update on Waymo vs. Uber appeared first on In The Scan.


Monitoring ship traffic

Apr 23 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Geoawesomeness under tags  big data gis maps

Since ever oceans have been important for people as a means of transport. The containerization counts as greatest transportation revolution in the 20th century and boosted the marine cargo traffic. Today, around 80 percent of the global trade by volume and over 70 percent of the global trade by value are carried by ships (United […]

The post Monitoring ship traffic appeared first on Geoawesomeness.


Velodyne Announces Solid State Sensor

Apr 22 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at In The Scan under tags  3d modeling sensors solid state

Velodyne LiDAR Inc., a world leader is 3D real-time perception systems for autonomous vehicles, announced its new fixed-laser, solid-state Velarray™ LiDAR sensor, a cost-effective yet high-performance and rugged automotive product in a small form factor. With the Velarray sensor, which … Continue reading

The post Velodyne Announces Solid State Sensor appeared first on In The Scan.


Mapping Global Landslide Susceptibility

Apr 21 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at The Map Room under tags  earth observatory geology landslides satellite weather and climate

NASA Earth Observatory notes the release of a new map of global landslide susceptibility that models the risks of landslides that are triggered by heavy rain. “The map is part of a broader effort to establish a hazards monitoring system that combines satellite observations of rainfall from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission with an assessment of … Continue reading "Mapping Global Landslide Susceptibility"



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