Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Geography and Environmental Resources

First Advisor

Wang, Guangxing

Abstract

Illinois statewide infrastructure mapping provides basis for economic development of the state. As a part of infrastructure mapping, this study is focused on mapping healthcare and education services for Illinois. Over 4337 k-12 schools and 1331 hospitals and long term cares were used in analyzing healthcare and education services. Education service was measured as ratio of population to teacher and healthcare service as the ratio of population to bed. Both of these services were mapped using three mapping techniques including Choropleth mapping, Thiessen polygon, and Kernel Density Estimation. The mapping was also conducted at three scales including county, census tract, and ZIP code area. The obtained maps were compared by visual interpretation and statistical correlation analysis. Moreover, spatial pattern analysis of maps was conducted using global and local Moran's I, high/low clustering, and hotspot analysis methods. In addition, multivariate mapping was carried out to demonstrate the spatial distributions of multiple variables and their relationships. The results showed that both Choropleth mapping and Thiessen polygon methods resulted in the service levels that were homogeneous throughout the polygons and abruptly changed at the boundaries hence which ignored the cross boundary flow of people for healthcare and education services. In addition they do not reflect the distance decay of services. Kernel Density mapping quantified the continuous and variable healthcare and educational services and has the potential to provide more accurate estimates of healthcare and educational services. Moreover, the county scale maps are more reliable than the census tract and ZIP code area maps. In addition, multivariate map obtained by legend design that combined the values of multiple variables well demonstrated the spatial distributions of healthcare and education services along with per capita income and relationships between them. Overall, Morgan, Wayne, Mason, and Ford counties had higher services for both education and healthcare whereas Champaign, Johnson, and Perry had lower service levels of healthcare and education. Generally, cities and the areas close to cities have better healthcare and educational service than other areas because of higher per capita income. In addition to numbers of hospitals and schools, the healthcare and education service levels were also affected by populations and per capita income. Additionally, other factors may also have influence on the service levels but were not taken into account in this study because of limited time and data.

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