Development of a web-geographical information system application for plotting tuberculosis cases

Geospat Health. 2021 Oct 19;16(2). doi: 10.4081/gh.2021.980.


In the last few decades, public health surveillance has increasingly applied statistical methods to analyze the spatial disease distributions. Nevertheless, contact tracing and follow up control measures for tuberculosis (TB) patients remain challenging because public health officers often lack the programming skills needed to utilize the software appropriately. This study aimed to develop a more user-friendly application by applying the CodeIgniter framework for server development, ArcGIS JavaScript for data display and a web application based on JavaScript and Hypertext Preprocessor to build the server's interface, while a webGIS technology was used for mapping. The performance of this approach was tested based on 3325 TB cases and their sociodemographic data, such as age, gender, race, nationality, country of origin, educational level, employment status, health care worker status, income status, residency status, and smoking status between 1st January 2013 and 31st December 2017 in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia. These data were collected from the Gombak District Health Office and Rawang Health Clinic. Latitude and longitude of the location for each case was geocoded by uploading spatial data using Google Earth and the main output was an interactive map displaying location of each case. Filters are available for the selection of the various sociodemographic factors of interest. The application developed should assist public health experts to utilize spatial data for the surveillance purposes comprehensively as well as for the drafting of regulations aimed at to reducing mortality and morbidity and thus minimizing the public health impact of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • Humans
  • Public Health
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Software
  • Tuberculosis* / epidemiology