Analyzing Radon Risk Using Geographic Information System (GIS) Software. Ü Radon and GIS

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1 Analyzing Radon Risk Using Geographic Information System (GIS) Software Ü Radon and GIS

2 Introduction Radon testing data is submitted by licensees to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency One way they are analyzed: data were converted to database form and then mapped Ü This course describes the process used to show how radon data was analyzed by IEMA using GIS

3 Course Objectives 1. Define GIS and why it s useful for radon 2. Explain how radon testing results were mapped and analyzed 3. Describe a GIS map and its components, what data they represent and their limitations 4. Illustrate how GIS mapping of radon can enhance risk communication

4 Mapping Radon Environmentally-related diseases are especially well suited for mapping Disease versus exposure Understanding spatial variation can lead to better implementation, prioritization, and prevention

5 What is GIS? A (nicer) picture Something to use when you re lost Geographic Information System (but what s that?)

6 GIS=Geographic Information System GIS is a collection of computer hardware, software, and geographic data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

7 What is GIS? With GIS, you can link information(attributes) to location data, such as people to addresses, buildings to parcels, or streets within a network. You can then layer that information to give you a better understanding of how it all works together. You choose what layers to combine based on what questions you need to answer.

8 What is ArcGIS? ArcGIS is one software package that allows data to be mapped in GIS (ESRI product) There are other software programs available that utilize GIS In this case, we used ArcGIS because it is widely used and because there are extensive mapping support features useful to our application

9 Who Might Use GIS for Radon? Health departments Schools and school districts Environmental agencies Interested organizations, e.g. building associations Realtors, real estate agents And others

10 Examples of how radon data can be used in GIS Identifying areas/homes in which: measurements were conducted mitigations were conducted variances were approved And, in identifying the locality of licensees

11 Data, data it s all about the data Why and how was the data generated? Database structure understanding how the data will be used when creating and housing data

12 Data Quality Mapping helps to understand and improve data quality At every step and before, during and after mapping, data quality is assessed. Handling more than one result per location Highest versus lowest versus average result Units? Timeframe? Lab problems?

13 Mapping Process Radon licensees submit data: Measurement & Mitigation Data Reporting Format Individuals licensed to perform radon measurements and mitigations shall submit results to the Agency in an ASCII comma delimited file. (from IEMA website licensees.htm)

14 Mapping Process 2 ACCESS Put licensee submitted data into Access database form

15 Mapping Process 3 Access file used to geocode addresses Other formats also acceptable (e.g., Excel) Convert 123 Maple Tree Lane to Latitude and Longitude coordinates

16 Mapping Process 4 ArcGIS Geocoding takes place in ArcGIS

17 Mapping Process 6 ArcGIS All the other information that goes with the address is there Part of the dot on the map

18 Mapping Process 5 ArcGIS Geocoding StreetMap (others) Determine acceptable level of geocoding success (100% is unlikely) Analyze non-matching addresses How many of non-coded are exceedances? Common features of non-matching? Why it doesn t always work; examples include: Date of base map differs from age of housing New developments New zip codes

19 Mapping Process 5 ArcGIS Base map & layers State County City Roads Water Features Geologic Features Airports, hospitals, etc. Geocoding results lay on top of base map and layers -> becomes another layer

20 Mapping Process 7 ArcGIS Make Preliminary Maps What do you want to analyze? What factors are of interest? Time and place of analysis?

21 Exercises We will now study four maps, for each map think about: Which is the most useful or clear? What does each map tell you? What is the underlying question(s)? What level of data are represented in each?

22 Exercises Map 1

23 Exercises Map 2

24 Exercises Map 3

25 Exercise Map 4

26 REVIEW What is GIS? How is radon data used in GIS? What kinds of questions can it address Describe the key steps in the mapping process What are some of the challenges with mapping radon data? What does a dot or a line on a radon map represent? How do you know?

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