Utilization of Google Earth for Distribution Mapping of Cholangiocarcinoma: a Case Study in Satuek District, Buriram, Thailand


Background: Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a serious public health problem in the Northeast of Thailand.CCA is considered to be an incurable and rapidly lethal disease. Knowledge of the distribution of CCA patients isnecessary for management strategies.
Objectives: This study aimed to utilize the Geographic Information Systemand Google EarthTM for distribution mapping of cholangiocarcinoma in Satuek District, Buriram, Thailand,during a 5-year period (2008-2012). Materials and
Methods: In this retrospective study data were collected andreviewed from the OPD cards, definitive cases of CCA were patients who were treated in Satuek hospital andwere diagnosed with CCA or ICD-10 code C22.1. CCA cases were used to analyze and calculate with ArcGIS 9.2,all of data were imported into Google Earth using the online web page www.earthpoint.us. Data were displayedat village points.
Results: A total of 53 cases were diagnosed and identified as CCA. The incidence was 53.57per 100,000 population (65.5 for males and 30.8 for females) and the majority of CCA cases were in stages IVand IIA. The average age was 67 years old. The highest attack rate was observed in Thung Wang sub-district(161.4 per 100,000 population). The map display at village points for CCA patients based on Google Earth gavea clear visual deistribution.
Conclusions: CCA is still a major problem in Satuek district, Buriram provinceof Thailand. The Google Earth production process is very simple and easy to learn. It is suitable for the use infurther development of CCA management strategies.