“GIS is mission critical for public health,” says Carl Kinkade, geospatial information system specialist at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, a federal health research agency. CDC offers a number of GIS-driven health maps, many of which pull data from state health departments, he says. “Reportable diseases include flu, TB, STDs and HIV,” he says. “All the states are required to track them and we have an overarching national reporting system of national surveillance. GIS is spread across CDC centers and divisions.”

The CDC primarily relies on ESRI software, but has incorporated GIS software from other sources as well, including Google and QGIS, a free, open source application (QGIS.org) formerly known as Quantum GIS.

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