Geospatial Examination of Lithium in Drinking Water and Suicide Mortality

International Journal of Health GeographicsInternational Journal of Health Geographics 2012, 11:19

Marco Helbich, Michael Leitner, and Nestor D. Kapusta

“Background: Lithium as a substance occurring naturally in food and drinking water may exert positive effects on mental health. In therapeutic doses, which are more than 100 times higher than natural daily intakes, lithium has been proven to be a mood-stabilizer and suicide preventive. This study examined whether natural lithium content in drinking water is regionally associated with lower suicide rates.

“Methods: Previous statistical approaches were challenged by global and local spatial regression models taking spatial autocorrelation as well as non-stationarity into account. A Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) model was applied with significant independent variables as indicated by a spatial autoregressive (SAR) model.

“Results: The association between lithium levels in drinking water and suicide mortality can be confirmed by the global spatial regression model. In addition, the local spatial regression model showed that the association was mainly driven by the eastern parts of Austria.

Significant suicide hot and cold spots.

Significant suicide hot and cold spots.

“Conclusions: Accordingly to old anecdotic reports the results of this study support the hypothesis of positive effects of natural lithium intake on mental health. Both, the new methodological approach and the results relevant for health may open new avenues in the collaboration between Geographic Information Science, medicine, and even criminology, such as exploring the spatial association between violent or impulsive crime and lithium content in drinking water. However, further research is needed before a voluntary intake of lithium may be recommended for the individual.”

ArcGIS Online Will Change How You Think about Mapping and GIS

Organizations Can Now Purchase ArcGIS Online Subscriptions and Immediately Unlock Their Geospatial Content

Esri, the global leader in geographic information systems (GIS), today officially released ArcGIS Online for organizations, a groundbreaking service that offers expanded collaboration tools for cataloging, visualizing, and sharing geospatial information.

“ArcGIS Online is a new cloud-based mapping system for organizations that is essentially changing how GIS managers, as well as IT managers, think about mapping and GIS,” said Jack Dangermond, president, Esri. “ArcGIS Online works with all types of data and is built on a powerful enterprise mapping platform that lets users simply manage their geospatial content, such as data, maps, images, applications, and other geographic information.”

Early adopters of ArcGIS Online have realized immediate benefits from extending their existing geographic information to reach more people across the enterprise and the public. The system supports better collaboration among teams and departments by allowing data to be easily integrated and shared. ArcGIS Online provides on-demand, self-serve mapping and is closely integrated with Excel for making maps from spreadsheet data commonly accessible.

ArcGIS Online provides new insights and opportunities for organizations to visualize their information spatially and quickly turn these visualizations into web services that can be shared anywhere. Organizations can mash up map services coming from a variety of sources and configure an array of ready-to-use applications that can be embedded and run in browsers and on mobile devices.

Through the purchase of an annual subscription, an organization can obtain a private and secure instance in Esri’s cloud that’s scalable and ready to use. No additional hardware or software has to be purchased or installed. An organization has access to tools for mapping and location analytics, global basemaps and imagery, demographic information, a library of templates, and applications for browsers and mobile devices.

Users can catalog and discover maps and applications, set up groups to collaborate, and share items with each other, the entire organization, or publicly. For example, without any programming, any user that’s part of an ArcGIS Online subscription can quickly share maps by embedding them in a website or blog, through social media, or using a preconfigured web application template.

Because ArcGIS Online is integrated with ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS for Server, maps created by GIS professionals can now be made accessible to others in the organization using the same system. Everyone in the organization can view and interact with these maps via a browser, smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device.

Registering ArcGIS for Server services in ArcGIS Online only takes a few steps and puts them into the hands of those who need this information to get their work done. In addition, non-GIS professionals, such as knowledge workers who have a need for GIS, now have a way to quickly create maps from the unstructured information they work with in spreadsheets and text files and share these maps with others who can access them on any device.

This type of on-demand and self-serve mapping frees up GIS professionals from having to respond to constant requests for maps and instead concentrate on making and publishing authoritative information products. An ArcGIS Online subscription also includes access to an API that developers in the organization can use to extend the system or integrate a custom solution with the ArcGIS system.

A flexible, annual subscription plan structured to accommodate different sizes of organizations or departments is available—from small workgroups to an enterprise-wide implementation. What plan to purchase depends on the size of an organization and the online resources it plans to consume. You can purchase separate subscriptions for each department or one large subscription for the entire organization.

The subscription plans start as small as 5 users and 2,500 service credits all the way to a multidepartment plan with 1,000 users and 110,000 service credits or even larger for enterprise plans. Regardless of which plan your organization chooses, more users and service credits can be added to the plan at any time.

Service credits are the currency of the ArcGIS Online system. Each service credit entitles your organization to consume a set amount of ArcGIS Online services, such as storing features or tiled map services and geocoding. Providing a pool of credits gives your organization flexibility to use the system to fit your organizational workflows and other needs. Organizations that have an existing enterprise license agreement (ELA) with Esri receive an ArcGIS Online subscription as part of their agreement with a certain number of service credits allocated and unlimited users.

There are three roles in ArcGIS Online: administrators, publishers, and users. Administrators of the ArcGIS Online subscription have the ability to publish and use content and also monitor service consumption through a dashboard. If the dashboard indicates that the service credits are at a low level, more credits can be purchased either online or by contacting Esri. Administrators also have the ability to invite and add users, remove users, assign user roles, delete content and groups, and set and manage the security policy.

Administrators also have the ability to customize an organization’s ArcGIS Online home page to represent the organization’s brand and identity. Customization options include adding a logo and banner, creating a custom URL, and featuring maps and applications important to the organization.

Publishers do not have administrative privileges but can publish content and use content published by others. Users can interact with and consume content but not publish it. It is important to note that organizations retain all the rights and title to, and interest in, any content they publish in ArcGIS Online.

For organizations that didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the ArcGIS Online beta program or be part of the early adopters program, a 30-day evaluation is available. To get more details about ArcGIS Online and sign up for the free 30-day trial, visit

[Source: Esri press release]