The newly unveiled “global map of accessibility” illustrates how long it would take to get to a major city from anywhere on the planet.
The map was created for the organization the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) to help show how some regions of the world are at risk of not having access to health care. It is part of MAP’s mission to assess malaria risks worldwide and implement the best intervention methods against the mosquito-borne disease.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2016 there were 216 million recorded cases of malaria worldwide.
According to MAP, the organization aims to “work together to assemble global databases on malaria risk and intervention coverage and develop innovative analysis methods that use those data to address critical questions.”
The map was created by researchers at the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford and could help save lives.
Data was collected from Open Street Maps and Google in order to capture representations of transportations networks across the globe.
These networks were fed into engines that produced color-coded maps that showed how long it would take for a person anywhere in the world to travel to a city with a population of at least 50,000.
The map highlights the gaps where access to healthcare is difficult, which is critical for implementing changes to improve quality of healthcare and living for those isolated from city services.
“Cities concentrate activities that promote and sustain human wellbeing including banking, education, employment, and healthcare services,” says the MAPS team “Identifying populations that have poor access to urban centers provides an important data source for enacting and assessing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations.”
The research team also notes the accessibility map will help mitigate the possibility of habitat degradation with infrastructure and economic changes made to improve healthcare access in rural areas.
By Kay Vandette, Earth.com Staff Writer
Image Credit: 2018 OpenStreetMap contributors, creative commons attribution 4.0