Web GIS in practice VI: a demo playlist of geo-mashups for public health neogeographers

Maged N Kamel Boulos, Matthew Scotch, Kei-Hoi Cheung, David Burden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


'Mashup' was originally used to describe the mixing together of musical tracks to create a new piece of music. The term now refers to Web sites or services that weave data from different sources into a new data source or service. Using a musical metaphor that builds on the origin of the word 'mashup', this paper presents a demonstration "playlist" of four geo-mashup vignettes that make use of a range of Web 2.0, Semantic Web, and 3-D Internet methods, with outputs/end-user interfaces spanning the flat Web (two-dimensional - 2-D maps), a three-dimensional - 3-D mirror world (Google Earth) and a 3-D virtual world (Second Life). The four geo-mashup "songs" in this "playlist" are: 'Web 2.0 and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for infectious disease surveillance', 'Web 2.0 and GIS for molecular epidemiology', 'Semantic Web for GIS mashup', and 'From Yahoo! Pipes to 3-D, avatar-inhabited geo-mashups'. It is hoped that this showcase of examples and ideas, and the pointers we are providing to the many online tools that are freely available today for creating, sharing and reusing geo-mashups with minimal or no coding, will ultimately spark the imagination of many public health practitioners and stimulate them to start exploring the use of these methods and tools in their day-to-day practice. The paper also discusses how today's Web is rapidly evolving into a much more intensely immersive, mixed-reality and ubiquitous socio-experiential Metaverse that is heavily interconnected through various kinds of user-created mashups.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages38
JournalInternational Journal of Health Geographics
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2008


  • Communicable Diseases
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Population Surveillance
  • Public Health
  • Software Design


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