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The potential for the use of Open Source Software and Open Specifications in creating Web-based cross-border health spatial information systems

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Globalization is contributing to the blurring of borders making irrelevant the distinctions between domestic and international health problems. Cross-border and global health spatial information systems (CBHSIS) are required to address the new global health challenges. There is a need to build and document alternatives for addressing the technological, economic, and sociocultural-political challenges encountered in the creation and deployment of these systems. This paper documents the building of a prototype Web-based multimedia GIS system for use in a public health context using Open Source Software and Open Specifications and its deployment across the US-Mexico border. These technologies offer advantages in addressing several of the challenges previously mentioned. We highlight the technological and sociocultural-political issues important in successful collaboration across borders and cultures and in the creation of interoperable CBHSIS.

Keywords: Open Source Software; Open Specifications; Web-based GIS; cross-border health spatial information systems

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Colorado at Denver, Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences, Denver, CO 80217 2: CloudShadow Consulting, Boulder, CO 80306 3: Departamento de Tecnología Informática, Secretaría de Salud Pública del Gobierno del Estado de Sonora, Mexico 4: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, CU Trauma Studies and Resource Center, Network Information and Space Security Center, Colorado Springs, CO 80933

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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