The Big Data Health Science Center’s Geospatial Core is available to provide Geographic Information Science (GIS) and spatial consultation to the University of South Carolina and external communities. Core services and areas of expertise are noted below.


Methodological Areas of Consultation/Expertise:

Topical Areas of Consultation/Expertise:

  • Study Design Consultation, Analysis and Grant Proposal Support: We can provide guidance on data sources, study design, and analytical approaches relevant to the use of spatial data and/or GIS/spatial methods in health-related research. Areas in which we can provide specific guidance is noted in the “Topics and Methodological Areas of Consultation/Expertise”. A request for services should be entered on the BDHSC website ( or via email to the Geospatial Core Director ( Depending on the extent of work and type of deliverable expected, a fee-for-service contract may be required.
  • GIS and Spatial Lectures/Workshops: We can provide lectures or workshops for your academic course, academic unit, group, or consortium introducing GIS and spatial concepts in health. Workshops requiring a hands-on component and/or written tutorials may incur a fee-for-service contract.


  • Geographic Data and Measures– help identify the appropriate geographically oriented data sources and measures needed for your project.
  • Spatial Analysis-Assist in identifying and conducting spatial analyses to help you answer your research questions.
  • Mapping and Visualization– Help with the development maps to display your data.
  • Access to Health-Related Locations-Application of spatial techniques to evaluate access to health-related locations. This includes use of spatial methods to measure distance to health care services, to quantify density of health-promoting or health-prohibiting services (e.g., parks and tobacco outlets, respectively).
  • Integration of GIS and Social Media ApplicationsUse of big data analytic techniques to analyze geo-tagged social media posts.
  • Infectious Disease-Applications spatial modeling techniques to address research questions related to the spread of infectious disease.
  • Chronic Disease Utilization of spatial techniques to address research questions related to describe geographic distribution in chronic disease prevalence, incidence, and risk factors and to help inform targeted interventions.
  • Social Determinants of Health- Use of spatial techniques to address research questions related to the social determinants of health, including social and community context, built and physical environment, and other important factors.
  • Environmental Health and DisastersUse of GIS and spatial approaches to answer questions related to environmental exposures and the impact of natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes).