Urban Health Geovisualisation eResearch Tools

Urban Health Geovisualisation eResearch Tools

This project has built a data service providing access to the Department of Health WA (DoHWA) Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System (HWSS) data collection; re-implemented an existing epidemiological data analysis service (HealthTracks) using open source technologies in order to provide summary analytical products; and integrated these elements with the AURIN Portal and e-Infrastructure.

Project overview

The project provides secure access to the HWSS data collection for AURIN end-users, increasing the security and efficiency of the data transfer process for both data custodians and researchers.

This rich data source contains reliable measures of risk factors, self-reported health and health service utilisation relating to the Western Australian population. Researchers are able to use the data within the AURIN analysis sandbox environment and can download to use with other analytical tools.

The project allows all AURIN end-users to explore the results of epidemiological analyses on selected WA health data generated by the HealthTracks online analysis and reporting tool. Summary population health measures guides future urban planning research direction and generates challenging hypotheses to be tested.

Initial end-users include Curtin University researchers working in the nutrition, alcohol and physical activity related sciences. The results of their research will influence decision makers on future food security, alcohol outlet licences and the location of sport and recreational facilities in Western Australia.

Project outputs

  • An automated infrastructure for processing WA health datasets to calculate important summary epidemiological measures
  • A data service that provides approved researchers access to WA health survey data (HWSS) and summary epidemiological measures via the AURIN Portal using a Web Feature Service (WFS)

The data preparation system will produce epidemiological measures identical to those presented in the current HealthTracks reporting tool, but structured for seamless consumption by the AURIN infrastructure.

Implemented in Open Source

The main system that has been implemented in this project is the automated data preparation system for summary epidemiological measures, designed to be maintained by HDWA staff.

Data Sources Identified and Evaluated

Obtain the optimal collections of data elements in open formats from the various data custodians then clean and audit the data.

Generation of metadata

Comprehensive and accurate metadata for all datasets will be generated. The metadata will be modified throughout the entire processing pipeline to maintain synchronisation with the underlying data tables.

 Preparation data for analysis

The data will be transformed to support automated online analysis via the AURIN Portal. Starting with source tables containing important health events and population information, summary epidemiological measures will be calculated, providing a selection of important metrics used in epidemiological studies and analyses for AURIN users. The resulting tables will be spatially enabled, and published using GeoServer, an open source WFS, for easy integration with AURIN.



Project team overview

The project team has come together to investigate geo-visualisation of health data in a three year CRCSI project. It was a multi-discipline team covering epidemiology, computer science, artificial intelligence and geographical information systems with participants at Curtin University and in Department of Health WA (DoHWA). Some of the team have been involved in the initial development of HealthTracks and the entire team has been involved in the re-engineering of HealthTracks: Reporting for DoHWA.

The team comprised experienced IT researchers and health experts with experience in analysing survey data and understanding the sensitivities associated with disseminating health information.

Geoff-West_bwProf Geoff West
Main Contact
CRC for Spatial Information
08 9266 4695
SetRatioSize263328-Narelle-Mullan-SqNarelle Mullan
Program Manager
Curtin University
+61 418 910 940

Project Partners

Curtin University_web

Gov WA Dept of Health