Teleconference 02.18.2014

Meeting Details

February 18, 2014
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Eastern

WEBEX Recording


F. Benjamin Zhan, Professor and Director, Texas Center for Geographic Information Science
Francis P. Boscoe, Research Scientist, New York State Cancer Registry

Sample Questions for Discussion (Agenda)

Geocoding tools

  • What is, in your opinion, the best tool for geocoding? What are the strengths and limitations of this tool compared to others?
  • Do states typically geocode their information in-house and if yes, what tools do they use?
  • What are the advantages of geocoding information from all states using the same tool and rules? What are the disadvantages if you do not?
  • Do you have any insights whether cancer data and other state data (e.g., census tract info) will be geocoded differently between the states?
  • How expensive is geocoding?

Available variables

  • What socioeconomic variables and lifestyle factors (e.g., potential confounders) can investigators access at the census tract level and what are the sources of this information?

(The committee is interested in variables such as age distribution, gender, ethnicity, urban/rural area, income, education, access to health insurance, smoking.)

  • From your experience with analyses of health data, what other available variables/possible confounders should the analysis of cancer risks near nuclear facilities consider?
  • Are there restrictions in accessing these variables in census tracts with small counts?
  • Does availability and access to these variables differ by geographic unit of analyses (e.g., county, census tract, or zip-code level)?
  • Are data available for every decade or for smaller time periods as well?


  • In your experience, how much does the size, demographic characteristics, and other factors of a census tract change with time?
  • What do you anticipate will be the greatest obstacle for performing such a study?