Linking environmental exposure and health outcomes: the importance of data
While establishing linkages between health outcomes and direct and indirect effects of environmental
exposures is complex and challenging, integrating epidemiological data with geological characterizations
through geospatial techniques and statistical methods can provide insight into the etiologies15-18 and
spatial patterns of disease, 19-20 and facilitate the development of improved exposure maps and risk
assessments.21 The proposed work seeks to identify, compile, inventory, and catalog publicly available
social, environmental and health datasets for the Appalachian region of Kentucky into a single data
warehouse. This study will lay the foundation for building a broader, relational database that will
facilitate and support transdisciplinary, collaborative investigations that address key questions involving
the complex interaction between the environment, health outcomes, and community impacts within
individuals living in this region.
Aim 1. Develop a comprehensive list of data resources by conducting an inventory of publicly available
social, environmental and health datasets within Appalachian Kentucky. Data exists at local, state, and
federal levels, in a variety of formats, with varying spatial resolution, time scales, and accuracy and the
inventory process will provide insight into the scope and quality of existing information.
Aim 2. Compile and transform tabular data (i.e., files that are not in a geospatial format) into a
geospatial data format.
Aim 3. Evaluate all geospatial datasets (Aims 1 & 2) for positional accuracy, completeness, temporal
quality, thematic accuracy, logical consistency, and usability in ESRI ArcPro (v2.4.2) geographic
information system software using the ArcGIS Data Reviewer extension.