Narrator: This is Science Today. Computer mapping of residential locations, or geocoding, was used in an asthma study conducted by researchers at the University of California , San Francisco . Study leader, Paul Blanc says by linking this data to general U.S. census information, investigators were able to determine a strong link between socioeconomic status of an area and health measures of asthma.
Blanc: In the past people have used things like zip code and the problem with zip code is there's not particularly a rhyme or reason for a zip code on a pure socioeconomic basis. You can make some generalities, but there are very mixed zip codes.
Narrator: Blanc says the next step is using the same geocoding approaches to look into factors such as traffic density and land use patterns in one's surrounding area.
Blanc: We can say how far in miles someone is from agricultural land, how far they are from what kinds of agricultural lands and also say something about the types of plants and their surroundings.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin .