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Medical Diseases

Cartographies of Disease

Maps, Mapping, and Medicine, new expanded edition

by (author) Tom Koch

Esri Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2017
Diseases, Human Geography, Cartography
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2017
    List Price

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Cartographies of Disease: Maps, Mapping, and Medicine, new expanded edition, is a comprehensive survey of the technology of mapping and its relationship to the battle against disease. This look at medical mapping advances the argument that maps are not merely representations of spatial realities but a way of thinking about relationships between viral and bacterial communities, human hosts, and the environments in which diseases flourish. Cartographies of Disease traces the history of medical mapping from its growth in the 19th century during an era of trade and immigration to its renaissance in the 1990s during a new era of globalization. Referencing maps older than John Snow's famous cholera maps of London in the mid-19th century, this survey pulls from the plague maps of the 1600s, while addressing current issues concerning the ability of GIS technology to track diseases worldwide. The original chapters have some minor updating, and two new chapters have been added. Chapter 13 attempts to understand how the hundreds of maps of Ebola revealed not simply disease incidence but the way in which the epidemic itself was perceived. Chapter 14 is about the spatiality of the disease and the means by which different cartographic approaches may affect how infectious outbreaks like ebola can be confronted and contained.

About the author

Dr. Tom Koch is a clinical ethicist and gerontologist based in Canada. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia, where he developed a series of teaching labs for medical geography. In 2005, he and coauthor, Kenneth Denike, were honored with an award for their paper on teaching medical geography through an analysis of John Snow's 1855 map of cholera in the Broad Street area of London.

Tom Koch's profile page

Editorial Reviews

" ... this is a superb book with wonderful map illustrations and is recommended to public health professionals who value maps as a presentational and educational medium; it provides insights into both disease occurrence and pathways to control, elimination, or both." Ralph R. Frerichs, DVM, DrPH in American Journal of Public Health

"... a powerful approach that will appeal to a wide audience and which should be a part of not just cartography lessons and collections, but medical history holdings as well.” Midwest Book Review

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