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Environ Health Perspect. 1999 Feb;107 Suppl 1:181-90.

Geographic exposure modeling: a valuable extension of geographic information systems for use in environmental epidemiology.

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  • 1Consulting in the Public Interest, Lambertville, NJ 08530, USA.


Geographic modeling of individual exposures using air pollution modeling techniques can help in both the design of environmental epidemiologic studies and in the assignment of measures that delineate regions that receive the highest exposure in space and time. Geographic modeling can help in the interpretation of environmental sampling data associated with airborne concentration or deposition, and can act as a sophisticated interpolator for such data, allowing values to be assigned to locations between points where the data have actually been collected. Recent advances allow for quantification of the uncertainty in a geographic model and the resulting impact on estimates of association, variability, and study power. In this paper we present the terminology and methodology of geographic modeling, describe applications to date in the field of epidemiology, and evaluate the potential of this relatively new tool.

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