For more than 20 years, Epiconcept company has contributed to improving public health programs by providing software, secured cloud solutions for health data collections, epidemiological studies, counseling, evaluation and training in the fields of disease prevention, screening and treatment.
A strong believer in the virtue of open source programs, Epiconcept often develops solutions based on this model. A recent example is the creation of GADMTools by Epiconcept developer Jean-Pierre Decorps.
Health events are seldom distributed under a random scheme. Geography of Health and Epidemiology is key to analyze several types of factors: populations and territories, type of environment, spacial relations between individuals, etc. It is fundamental when it comes to understanding the complex relations and mechanisms that help spread a health event and can also play a part on a public policy level on two levels:
– to inform and monitor preventive and regulatory health policies;
– to control sanitary crisis and epidemics.
Several zooming effects are often necessary to provide an accurate scope of analyses. Over the past years, the strong development of Geographical information systems such as GADM (a spatial database of the world’s administrative boundaries, from countries to lower level subdivisions such as provinces, departments, cantons, etc.) have come in handy. The GADM database has a few export formats, including files formatted for the R programming language, allowing the easy creation of descriptive data plots that include geographical maps.
In 2017, Epiconcept developer Jean-Pierre Decorps elaborated a wrapper for GADM shapefiles. It provides Public Health specialists with a quick-and-easy solution to create personalized maps. Thanks to it, the GADM Database can be used to create choropleth, heatmaps, dots plot, proportional dots and more:
The solution has already been dowloaded more than 6000 times on the CRAN platform. Its users include the University of Twente – Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) – Geo-information Processing Department (GIP), The Netherlands.
For further information, do not hesitate to visit the cran.r-project page dedicated to the program : https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/GADMTools/index.html