Today I have two articles that feature GIS in the biosciences.
Broad Ideas and Gory Details: The State of Health GIS
I have spoken many times on public health and how GIS can affect it in a profound way. This article very briefly discusses the Esri Heath GIS Conference that took place last weekend in Massachusetts. One of the biggest things that I see in Health GIS is the ability to see long term trends across large geographic areas. There simply is not enough money to treat each individual for the symptoms that they are having. In this increasingly tech capably world we should concentrate on education and prevention of disease. Having GIS that is capable of showing areas where children are likely to develop into obese citizens would allow public health officials to focus on those areas and work with the community of developing exercise programs.
I also like the end of the article where it talks about 'have' versus 'need'. GIS is sufficiently developed at this point that anybody can interact with it. At my company I have been trying very hard over the last year or so to get web applications into the hands of my coworkers. It is not an attempt to remove work from my plate, but instead it is an attempt to get the people who 'need' into the column of 'have'.
Software Uses Cyborg Swarm To Map Unknown Environs
This is a little creepy. Actually it is a lot creepy. It is also really interesting. Using a swarm of insects that have sensors on them to collect data in a collapsed building, mine, or other emergency situation could mean the difference between life and death. We have seen systems like this in science fiction. I think that terrible movie 'Prometheus' had flying orbs that mapped out a cavern. Despite the hokey plots often associated with these stories the idea that small robots and insects can carry remote sensing platforms is definitely in the realm of reality now.