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I am starting to research on the topic related to use of GIS in public health. I have started with the Wikipedia article.

I would like to apart from epidemic spread of disease, what are the other application areas? Currently active research groups/universities working on these topics? World Health Organization projects? Resources that would help students researching in this area?

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    This is good that you have tried to search at least somewhere. As a student you should also try to search libraries or at least try google-scholar. There are plenty (no, there are tons!) of articles about GIS + health. Make some extra effort and search for them yourself. You may start here: plosone.org – SS_Rebelious Apr 11 '13 at 20:41
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Currently active research groups/universities working on these topics?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Resources that would help students researching in this area?

Here are two interesting resources: the first one is a GIS training (in ArcGIS) for public health professionals which goes from basics to advanced topics. The second is the .pdf 'Cartographic Guidelines for Public Health' (2012) which "proposes cartographic guidelines and best practices to produce high-quality, consistent map products for the public health community".

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Some good reference texts:

Check out the proceedings from the following:

Some other Esri references:

And as @SS_Rebelious has commented, there are tons of articles available through internet searches, etc., where often you will find reports/publications like Exploring the Utilization of Geographic Information Systems in Health Promotion and Public Health, and blogs like Journals for GIS in Urban and Health Research where someone has already compiled similar information that you are looking for.

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