POSTPONED - Geographic Information Systems for Public Health


Course description:

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are increasingly used in public health to explore the associations between population health, places, and the social and physical environment.

In this course we will cover the most relevant methods and GIS tools utilized in public health and epidemiology for mapping and analyzing geographic patterns of health events, investigate health inequalities, human-environment interactions, and environmental risk factors.


Learning objectives:

It is expected that at the end of the course the students will be able to:

-Understand the importance of GIS and geographic thinking in the understanding of public health problems;
-Comprehend key concepts of cartography, thematic mapping, and distinguish different types of spatial data;
-Collect, georeference, and manage geographic data for public health practice and research;
-Integrate health and geographical data for epidemiological studies and health risk assessment;
-Measuring accessibility to healthcare and other facilities;
-Visualize and characterize geographical patterns of health events, population and environmental data.


Dr. Ana Isabel Ribeiro, MPH, PhD (

The course is targeted to researchers, post-graduation students, physicians, public health practitioners, environmental health specialists, geographers, and any person who wants to use GIS in the understanding of human-environment interactions.

No prior knowledge of GIS is required. Participants can use the computers available in the classroom or their own laptop.

ArcGIS 10.5 and specialized spatial statistics software (GeoDA and SaTScan).

English (in Portuguese, if all the participants speak Portuguese).

Teaching methodologies:
All classes will start with a brief theoretical introduction followed by lab exercises using a Geographic Information System. In each session students will receive: 1) Slides, 2) General and specialized bibliographic references, and 3) Spatial data.

Selection of participants:
24 places allocated on a first come first served basis.


A certificate of participation will be given to the participants who attend at least 75% of the course.



Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto - Rua das Taipas, nº 135, Porto

Application deadline: 25 August 2020


Detailed Program


Due to the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent travel bans in many world countries, this course will be postponed. 


Due to the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent travel bans in many world countries, this course will be postponed. 

Tuition Fee:
200 euros (-25% for students and collaborators of ISPUP, public health internship medical doctors and for students and alumni from the University of Porto).
Start date:
End date: