The evolving importance of geospatial science and geographic information systems (GIS) in public health is fueled by partnerships among federal, state, and local public health organizations, academia, non-government organizations, and international organizations and agencies. The Geospatial Research, Analysis, and Services Program (GRASP) takes a collaborative approach to advancing geospatial science and GIS in public health research and practice and develops partnerships with internal and external partners across all sectors.

Advancing Partnerships in Place and Health

GRASP has a strong track record of working with CDC and ATSDR programs, and other organizations across environmental health, infectious diseases, chronic disease, global health, and emergency preparedness and response. GRASP’s partners recognize the value of geospatial science and GIS in public health.

By partnering with GRASP, public health professionals are connected to:

Partnerships in Public Health Research and Practice

GRASP provides expertise in geospatial science and GIS resources to develop geospatial research, interactive maps, data visualizations, and analyses for partners to improve public health outcomes. GRASP enables public health partners to pursue innovative projects that might not be possible without geospatial science and GIS support.

GRASP’s long-standing collaborations with CDC/ATSDR programs include conducting complex environmental health analyses for a variety of ATSDR projects, such as the ongoing assessment at the Camp Lejeune site in North Carolina. To support ATSDR’s work investigating exposure to and possible health effects associated with PFAS in dozens of communities across the United States, GRASP uses GIS to identify key sites, geocode locations, conduct exposure analysis, perform network analysis, and visualize data to foster research.

GRASP partners with multiple CDC programs to develop interactive atlases, including  CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion to develop the Diabetes Atlas and Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke. Partnerships to develop interactive maps include GRASP’s work with the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases’ FluView Interactive, the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s United States Cancer Statistics Data Visualization Tool (USCS) and CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention’s AtlasPlus tool. GRASP has also partnered with CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health’s Vessel Sanitation Program, highlighting the vital role geospatial science and technology can play in supporting cruise ship outbreak investigations.

GRASP also provides geospatial expertise to the Situational Awareness Branch in CDC’s Emergency Operations Center to support multiple domestic and international public health emergency preparedness and response efforts (see the most recent COVID Data Tracker to support the COVID-19 response).

External partnerships include State Health Departments and other federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency; NGOs such as the World Health Organization; foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and private geospatial companies such as Esri.

Page last reviewed: February 26, 2020