Community health research is practiced with disparate independently used tools that by themselves do not allow for the type of comprehensive and thorough analysis needed for effective public health evaluation. The Spatial OLAP Visualization and Analysis Tool (SOVAT) is a new type of research application for community health assessments. SOVAT integrates into one system many of the necessary characteristics needed to make comprehensive community health decisions. By combining On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) with Geospatial Information System (GIS) capabilities, our system can handle large amounts of data, perform geospatial and statistical calculations, and then display this information in both a numerical and spatial view within the same interface. It is anticipated that this unique system will provide researchers with the ability to perform more comprehensive assessments while enabling for more informed public health decisions.
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