We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Skip main navigation

A practical software example

Practical example by PHFI on software use in CARRS study
© PHFI

Case Study PHFI

As we’ve mentioned in step 1.4 we’ve interwoven information about the CARRS study throughout this week. In this article we will inform you on the software that we used and why.
For the CARRS – GIS study which aimed to study the relationship between Built Environment and Cardiometabolic diseases, we mainly used ArcGIS software and Google Earth.
There were several factors that influenced our decision to use the commercial package ArcGIS. Our decision was mainly based on the experience of the project staff with this software and functional requirements. Financial considerations were less important to us as the necessary software license could be obtained via the project budget.
Actually the factor that was most important for us while selecting the software was staff skills and experience:
  1. Several members of our team were already experienced in using ArcGIS
  2. There were many training opportunities for ArcGIS for new staff members
What was also important were the functional requirements. We wanted a software package that had all the functionality required for this project. We were not looking for a solution where we were integrating many different types of software but were looking for a single software package that allowed us to store our data in a structure way, and had good mapping possibilities. We knew that we wanted to control map projections and we needed to integrate layers and conduct measurements.
In order to relate cardiometabolic diseases and the environment, we needed to calculate for example the distance between a household and the nearest park or health care facilities and food and alcohol outlets but this could all be done within a GIS.
Usage of ArcGIS also made it easier to share and compare data among researchers. In our projects we often collaborate with other organisations and exchange of results (for example using Shapefiles) is easy using ArcGIS.
In addition to ArcGIS, we used Google Earth for planning the GPS data collection and verification of the collected data.
© PHFI
This article is from the free online

Geohealth: Improving Public Health through Geographic Information

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education