Loma Linda (Calif.) University has opened two computer laboratories to teach students how to use geographic information systems technology to improve health across the globe.

The labs combine maps and satellite imagery with data about the geographic locations of diseases, health care resources and socio-demographic characteristics of communities.

The university created the labs with ESRI, a Redlands, Calif.-based geographic information systems vendor. Students studying public health, health geographics, biomedical data management, environmental health, global health and development, and spatial epidemiology will use the labs.

The organizations will jointly host an international symposium, "Designing the Healthy Community," to be scheduled during 2010. More information is available at esri.com and llu.edu.

--Joseph Goedert

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