Write your awesome label here.
AN open-source approach

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Public Health

This is a self-paced online course packed with contents that will fast-track your learning journey in the GIS and public health domain.

Curious about the course?

Have a look at the video to know more!
Write your awesome label here.

What's included?

  • 4 modules
  • 17 lectures 
  • 15 tutorials
  • 10 datasets


Video lectures - including closed captions and slide decks.


Downloadable tutorials, along with the dataset(s) necessary for the exercises.

Discussion boards

Because we’re deeply invested in your success, we offer on-going support via the discussion boards, available for every single learning activity!

Here is what we will cover in this course

Module 1 – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Public Health

Lecture 1 - Understanding the foundations of GIS in the context of public health
Tutorial 1 - Remap John Snow's data
Lecture 2 - The foundations of GIS
Tutorial 2 - Explore QGIS interface, data models and data types
Lecture 3 - Working with data in the GIS environment
Tutorial 3 - Create metadata and import/export different spatial data formats
Lecture 4 - Data manipulation concepts
Tutorial 4 - Use basic tools to explore data

Module 2 – Introduction to Public Health topics and their intersection with spatial data

Lecture 1 - Why Public Health needs GIS
Tutorial 1 - Download and convert data
Lecture 2A - Coordinate Reference Systems
Lecture 2B - Attribute joins
Tutorial 2 - Project and spatially join datasets
Lecture 3 - Geocoding: making health data mappable
Tutorial 3 - Geocoding and data cleaning
Lecture 4 - Transform Health Data
Tutorial 4 - Working with different spatial scales

Module 3 – Introduction to mapping techniques in the context of Public Health

Lesson 1 - Represent Health data
Tutorial 1 - Create a choropleth map and experiment with data classification
Lesson 2 - Visualise Health data
Tutorial 2 - Create data visualisations with Data Plotly plugin
Lesson 3 - Designing maps
Tutorial 3 - Work with symbology files and design a layout
Lesson 4 - Share and publish maps and web GIS
Tutorial 4 - Export a static map and share a web map

Module 4 – From a spatial analysis of Health data to relevant Public Health knowledge

Lesson 1 - Perform spatial analysis and clustering in the context of Public Health
Tutorial 1 - Create a heatmap and clusters
Lesson 2 - Create space-time modelling
Tutorial 2 - Create time animations
Lesson 3 - Execute network and accessibility analysis
Tutorial 3 - Perform network analysis
Lesson 4 - Course wrap up

Still wondering if this course is right for you?

Better than take it from us, why don’t you give the course a try? We’ve made Module 1 available for you for free on the course page!
Our team

Meet the team of instructors

Ori Gudes

Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health of UNSW/Sessional Lecturer at UNSW Built Environment Faculty
Dr Ori Gudes is a researcher and senior lecturer with expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), spatial analysis, and spatial science. His research focuses on GIS and Health, spatial analysis, decision support systems, city analytics and usability evaluation. Dr Gudes has confirmed his international reputation as a leader in GIS and Health and urban planning research. He has established collaborations with U.S., Canadian, and other GIS researchers through scientific committees, editorial board memberships, joint studies, and conferences. Dr Gudes has a strong background in GIS, spatial analysis with the intersection of urban planning, and scenario planning tools development. He has been teaching GIS, web mapping, and spatial analysis courses and workshops since 2008 at both QUT, Griffith University, Curtin University and UNSW. His academic portfolio is also available here

Cristina Dias

Geographer and Geospatial Scientist
Cristina is a Geographer and Geospatial Scientist, who loves teaching all things spatial engagingly and creatively. She is particularly interested in open data and free, open-source tools.
an open-source approach

Introduction to GIS for Public Health

Frequently asked questions

What exactly is this course?

This introductory GIS and Health course will help you understand spatial techniques used in GIS and Health and some core theory, concepts and background so that you can use GIS successfully. We created this course in response to the increasing need for Health professionals to incorporate location intelligence in their day-to-day decisions and the growing availability of open-source GIS tools and datasets.

How is this course going to help me?

  • You'll be in a better position to meet your daily decision-making needs at work
  • You'll be inspired to start research in this subject
  • You'll diversify and enhance your skillset (either in GIS, Health or both)

What are the learning outcomes of this course?

  • Comprehend the intersection between GIS and Public Health
  • Use Health data in a GIS
  • Produce maps depicting Health data
  • Apply multiple geospatial techniques
  • Analyse Health data spatially
  • Identify domains in which GIS and spatial analysis techniques can support decision-making in Public Health
  • Address Health and research questions using GIS
  • Visualise health data

How is this course going to be delivered?

This is a self-paced course delivered on an online platform. You will go through the video lectures (theory) and tutorials (practice) of each module, in sequential order, in your own time.

Are there any prerequisites, or do I need any prior knowledge of particular topics?

No prior knowledge of particular topics is required; this is an introductory course, therefore suitable for beginners. 

What are the technical requirements?

  • Computer 
  • Internet connection
  • Web browser
  • Permission to install software

What software will I be using?

You'll be using QGIS in the tutorials. QGIS is a free, open-source application available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

Are there any assessments?

There aren't, at least not in the traditional sense of it! The best way for you self-evaluate is by following the tutorials and share your results with your fellow learners on the discussion board. 

What do I get upon completion of this course?

You'll be able to apply the learnings to your work/studies right after. Oh, and you'll also get a certificate!
Created with