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February 3, 2017
Putting Disease on the Map

Redlands, California—The new edition of Cartographies of Disease: Maps, Mapping, and Medicine from Esri traces the long history of how maps have been used to help unlock the mysteries behind the cause and spread of diseases such as cholera, yellow fever, and Ebola.

Cartographies of Disease was first published in 2005 and showed how maps could be used as an important tool for studying both chronic conditions and disease epidemics. It became a must read for policy makers and others working in public health and medicine.

In this expanded edition, author Dr. Tom Koch adds new material to deepen readers' understanding of medical mapping from the seventeenth into the twenty-first centuries. The book covers the mapping of diseases and medical conditions such as cholera, yellow fever, typhoid fever, sandfly fever, hernia, lymphoma, arteriosclerotic heart disease, cancer, influenza, AIDS, West Nile virus, and Ebola.

"Cartographies of Disease is a book about our confrontations with bacterial and viral agents across history," Koch wrote in the book's introduction. "It is also about how maps help us profile those conditions in our attempts to restrict them. Ebola in 2014 reminded us that it's urgent to understand the conditions that promote disease and the ways we confront them on the ground."

The book provides a nontechnical narrative and a visual history of mapping's role in studying what causes disease, understanding where and how diseases spread, and how they can be combated. The illustrations include more than 100 maps and charts, from a pair of 1694 maps of plague locations and containment zones in Bari, Italy, to digital maps of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, created using geographic information system (GIS) technology.

Ebola is the focus of the two new chapters. In chapter 13, the international perception of Ebola's threat is charted and, with it, the fear engendered by the possibility that a local outbreak might become an international pandemic. Perceptions of the disease and reactions to it are mapped using contemporary technologies such as GIS.

Chapter 14 is devoted to the practical issues of mapping an infectious virus like Ebola in developing countries. It describes how the potential for Ebola to spread was initially overlooked and how, in the future, new epidemics might be better contained. Mapping, Koch argues, can help identify disease threats, direct medical assistance when necessary, and educate people—locally and internationally—about new diseases.

Koch is a medical ethicist and gerontologist based in Canada. As an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, he developed a series of teaching labs for medical geography.

Cartographies of Disease: Maps, Mapping, and Medicine, new expanded edition, is now available in print (ISBN: 9781589484672, 412 pages, US$79.99) or as an e-book (ISBN: 9781589484764, 412 pages, US$59.99). The print edition of the book can be obtained from online retailers worldwide, at esri.com/esripress, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. The e-book edition is available for purchase from online retailers. Outside the United States, visit esri.com/esripressorders for complete ordering options, or visit esri.com/distributors to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

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