County Leverages the Use of ArcWeb Services to Communicate West Nile Virus Information to the Public
Redlands, California―The Ada County, Idaho, Weed, Pest, and Mosquito Abatement District is using ESRI’s ArcWeb Services to map the results of mosquito testing for West Nile virus (WNV) and deliver the information to the public. Public access to WNV results is vital because mosquitoes carrying the disease can pass it to humans by biting them.
The use of ESRI’s ArcWeb Services to deliver test results saves the county data maintenance costs and ensures timely information delivery. ArcWeb Services are geographic information system (GIS) Web services hosted by ESRI to give on-demand access to mapping and GIS capabilities. ESRI also hosts the district’s custom data through managed services. “What’s great about combining data hosting and ArcWeb Services is that we simply upload our surveillance database results to the Web site and ESRI takes care of map data updates and hardware maintenance,” says Jacob Mundt, Ada County GIS mapping coordinator for the program.
“This pilot project is a promising model for other vector control districts across the nation,” says Bill Davenhall, global manager of Health and Human Services, ESRI.
Access to the site is through the Mosquito Tracker link at http://www.adaweb.net. An interactive map lets you view results of mosquito trap testing at 40 sites around the county that surrounds Boise, the state’s largest city. Online visitors can interactively display an instant map overview of areas where concentrations of mosquitoes occur, whether trapped mosquitoes carry WNV, and, if appropriate, where mosquito-control activities are taking place.
The map background displays as a satellite image, street map, a combination of the two, or a thematic map that incorporates U.S. census results according to ZIP Code boundary. The census information makes it possible to quickly see, for example, whether a WNV outbreak has occurred in a densely populated area and to estimate the number of area residents over 50 years of age (a high-risk group for severe symptoms). Online visitors can input an address, such as their residence, to quickly find the nearest testing site and see results that are updated at least once a week.
“In 2006, Idaho led the nation in the number of reports of human illness associated with WNV,” said Chris Kinabrew, MPH, MSW, public health specialist with ESRI. “Ada County has shown innovation in not only promoting universal precautions to avoid mosquito bites, but also providing timely public access to local WNV testing information.”
In addition to the mosquito abatement GIS application, the district uses ESRI ArcGIS Desktop to maintain and analyze all information for the weed and pest abatement programs. Field data collectors use ArcPad enabled with GPS for accurate and efficient recording and have mapped more than 2,300 mosquito breeding sites. They also use ArcPad for navigation, site inspection, and treatment records. “The mobile application, combined with ArcGIS Desktop and ArcWeb Services, has streamlined project and data management, increased efficiency, and improved public education,” says Mundt.
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