An Online Atlas for Exploring Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Cancer Mortality (1972-2011) and Incidence (1995-2008) in Taiwan

Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 May;95(21):e3496. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000003496.


Public health mapping and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are already being used to locate the geographical spread of diseases. This study describes the construction of an easy-to-use online atlas of cancer mortality (1972-2011) and incidence (1995-2008) in Taiwan.Two sets of color maps were made based on "age-adjusted mortality by rate" and "age-adjusted mortality by rank." AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), and SVG (Scaling Vector Graphic) were used to create the online atlas. Spatio-temporal patterns of cancer mortality and incidence in Taiwan over the period from 1972 to 2011 and from 1995 to 2008.The constructed online atlas contains information on cancer mortality and incidence ( The common GIS functions include zoom and pan and identity tools. Users can easily customize the maps to explore the spatio-temporal trends of cancer mortality and incidence using different devices (such as personal computers, mobile phone, or pad). This study suggests an easy- to-use, low-cost, and independent platform for exploring cancer incidence and mortality. It is expected to serve as a reference tool for cancer prevention and risk assessment.This online atlas is a cheap and fast tool that integrates various cancer maps. Therefore, it can serve as a powerful tool that allows users to examine and compare spatio-temporal patterns of various maps. Furthermore, it is an-easy-to use tool for updating data and assessing risk factors of cancer in Taiwan.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis*
  • Taiwan / epidemiology