We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Maps

For a Special Issue on
Mapping Health

Abstract deadline
01 May 2022

Manuscript deadline
01 November 2022

Cover image - Journal of Maps

Special Issue Editor(s)

Marynia Kolak, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
[email protected]

Michael Desjardins, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health
[email protected]

Yanjia Cao, The University of Hong Kong
[email protected]

Submit an ArticleVisit JournalArticles

Mapping Health


This special issue aims to promote innovative or exceptional approaches to mapping integrated datasets for disease surveillance; using geovisualizations to explore structural factors that drive health disparities; and mapping results of spatial analyses of population health and spatial epidemiological studies.

The geovisualizations should depict health indicators or outcomes in meaningful and appropriate ways, attuned to the spatial scale of the phenomenon. Data should be communicated in an ethically robust manner to both consider the health privacy of individuals as well as the socio-ecological landscape in which population health is shaped.


Mapping and spatial analysis have been used to monitor and understand disease etiology and transmission for centuries. Since the turn of the 21st Century, advances in statistical, analytical, and computational frameworks with new types of data have enabled a critical shift in how health is mapped, understood, and shaped though spatially explicit processes. Spatial analysis and geographic information science are crucial for monitoring health data at neighborhood and regional scales; exploring patterns and trends of health outcomes; and distilling the complex processes that shape and reproduce health inequity. Mapping not only visually communicates research results, but can also serve as a key component of the exploratory spatial data analytic process to generate and refine hypotheses.

Recently, the COVID-19 Pandemic facilitated an explosion of dashboards, geovisualizations, and mapping applications to capture the urgency of a global crisis. Cartographic products were used to highlight at-risk or resilient populations, as well as explore associations that could help identify structural barriers to testing, vaccinations, or evidence-based information. At the same time, the pandemic also highlighted challenges of mapping health phenomena in meaningful ways across multidisciplinary contexts that consider the complexity of infectious disease and interplay of social, economic, and policy factors.

Analyzing and communicating key insights from health data with dynamic spatio-temporal dimensions (eg. updating daily at regional scales) often requires synthesis with disparate data sources of varying complexity (eg. Census estimates versus GPS-based mobility patterns). Data with a coarser temporal resolution still necessitates a careful approach to distill underlying contributions of disease for different populations. Within this landscape, innovative visualization techniques and analytic methodologies have resulted in powerful maps that help shape policy, drive interventions, and influence our understanding of population health.


We welcome studies on chronic and/or infectious disease outcomes, as well as the factors that drive, influence, or shape population health. While a wide range of topics are welcome for inclusion in this special issue, we include the following examples of studies that:

  • Build on conceptual and theoretical frameworks integrating geographic thinking (eg. political ecology, socio-ecological view of health, intersectionality);
  • Explore social / political / community / structural determinants of health;
  • Support disease surveillance within modern spatial information infrastructures;
  • Consider syndemic dynamics, like opioid use disorder and HIV/HCV;
  • Integrate social-spatial networks to uncover complex processes;
  • Utilize high spatial and/or temporal resolution datasets related to health;
  • Address mobility patterns of individuals and resulting influence on health;
  • Adopt techniques to mitigate privacy concerns while maintaining precision;
  • Inform public health practice, target interventions or resources; drive policy.

Submission Instructions

All papers are expected to consist of a map or series of maps (loosely and broadly defined to include various forms of spatial representation) accompanied by brief explanatory text. Papers should be bespoke, and the mapping of good quality. All papers in this special issue will be peer reviewed. To submit a paper, authors should do the following:

  1. Submit a short draft (500 word limit) outlining the key themes and scope of the paper, where possible including example mapping, by 1st May 2022. Abstract selection will be by the special issue editorial team. You will receive a notification by 1st June 2022.
  2. Submit a completed paper (4000 word limit) by 1st November 2022.
  3. The special issue will be published in 2023.

The special issue editorial team are happy to discuss ideas for papers and their suitability with potential contributors prior to the short draft submission stage. Please e-mail Marynia Kolak ([email protected]s.edu).

All submissions should be made via the Journal of Maps website (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tjom20/current) where further guidance on all aspects of submission can be found. Please note the journal is open access, with an article processing charge of £635.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.