Jane Law

Associate Professor

Joint appointment with the School of Planning

Jane Law

Contact information

Office: EV3 3251

Telephone: 519-888-4567, ext. 38369 

Email: j9law@uwaterloo.ca

Research interests

One of my main areas of research is GIS and spatial analysis methodologies and their applications in public health.  Some of my recent projects relate to Bayesian spatial modeling for applications in spatial and spatio-temporal epidemiology; healthy communities and the built environment; web-based GIS public health planning system; and GIS and spatial methods for renewable energy and health research.   In transfer of spatial technology for health planning in practice, I have participated in related projects in public health regions.  My other research area in environmental criminology has provided insights for healthy and safe community planning through investigating offenders, offences, and their links with the built environment.  

Teaching interests

  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Analysis in Public Health
  • Disease Mapping
  • Spatial Epidemiology
  • Health Geomatics


BSc Surveying and Mapping Sciences, North East London Polytechnic, UK

MSc Land Information Systems, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Diploma in University Teaching, University of New Brunswick

PhD Geomatics Engineering, University of New Brunswick

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Cambridge

Selected pu​blications

Law, J., M.* Quick, and P.W. Chan (2014). “Analyzing Hotspots of Crime Using a Bayesian Spatiotemporal Modeling Approach: A Case Study of Violent Crime in the Greater Toronto Area” Geographical Analysis, 1-19, DOI: 10.1111/gean.12047

Luan, H.*, and Law, J. (2014). “Web GIS-Based Public Health Surveillance Systems: A Systematic Review” ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Vol. 3, 481-506, DOI 10.3390/ijgi3020481

Law, J., M.* Quick, and P.W. Chan (2014). “Analyzing local patterns of crime over time at the small-area level: A Bayesian spatio-temporal modeling approach” Journal of Quantitative Criminology, DOI 10.1007/s10940-013-9194-1, Vol. 30: 57-78

Law, J., and M. Quick* (2013), “Exploring links between juvenile offenders and social disorganisation at a large map scale: a Bayesian spatial modeling approach” Journal of Geographical Systems” Vol. 15:1, 89-113, DOI: 10.1007/s10109-012-0164-1s, Vol. 15: 89-113

Quick, M.* and J. Law (2013) “Exploring hotspots of drug offences in Toronto, Ontario: a comparison of four local spatial cluster detection methods”, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Vol. 55:2, 215-238.

Law, J. and P. Chan (2012).  “Bayesian spatial random effect modeling for analyzing burglary risks controlling for offender, socioeconomic, and unknown risk factors.”  Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, Vol. 5, 73-96, DOI: 10.1007/s12061-011-9060-1.

Chan, W.*, J. Law, and P. Seliske  (2011) “Bayesian Spatial Methods for Small-Area Injury Analysis: a Study of Geographic Variation of Falls in Older People in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Health Region in Ontario, Canada” Injury Prevention, DOI: 10.1136/injuryprev-2100-040068.

Law, J. and P. Chan (2011).  “Bayesian Spatial Random Effect Modeling for Analyzing Burglary Risks Controlling for Offender, Socioeconomic, and Unknown Risk Factors.”  Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, DOI: 10.1007/s12061-011-9060-1.

Law, J. and P. Chan (2011).  “Monitoring Residual Spatial Pattern using Bayesian Hierarchical Spatial Modelling for Exploring Unknown Risk Factors.”Transactions in GIS, Vol. 15 (4): 521-549.

Haining, R. and J. Law (2011).  “Geographical Information Systems Models and Spatial Data Analysis” in Research Tools in Natural Resource and Environmental Ecomomics, edited by Batabyal, A. and P. Nijkamp, World Scientific Publishing, pp 377-401.

Meng, G.*, J. Law, and M. Thompson (2010). “Small-scale health-related indicator acquisition using secondary data spatial interpolation.”  International Journal of Health Geographics 2010, 9:50 (13 October 2010).

Haining, R., G. Li, R. Maheswaran, Blangiardo, M., J. Law, N. Best, and S. Richardson (2010).  “Inference from ecological models: estimating the relative risk of stroke from air pollution exposure using small area data.”  Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology, 1:123-131.

Haining,R., J. Law, and D. Griffith (2009). “Modelling small area counts in the presence of overdispersion and spatial autocorrelation.” Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, 53: 2923-2937.
Law, J. (2009).  Book review: “Lawson, A.B. Bayesian Disease Mapping: Hierarchical    Modeling in Spatial Epidemiology. CRC 2008.” Biometrics Vol. 65, 661-662.

Law, J., and P. Chan (2009).  “GIS in Public Health” in W. Dong (ed.) Public Health Sciences, Renmin University Press, Beijing, pp 199-218. 

Selected professional activitie​s and networks

  • Referee/Reviewer:​​
    • Reviewer for UK Medical Research Council (grants), 2014. 
    • Panel Chair, Ontario Council of Universities, Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program, Social Sciences Division, 2012-13. 
    • Reviewer for the Austrian Science Fund, Humanities and Social Sciences, July 2010. 
    • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Standard Research Grants Program), 2009.
    • International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing book series volume on “Advances in Web-based GIS, Mapping Services and Applications”, 2009 (book chapter).
    • Reviewer for Journals: The Annals of Regional Science; Journal of Quantitative Criminology; Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice; Planning Practice and Research; Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology; Biometrics; Geografiska Annaler B: Human Geography; International Journal of Health Geographies; Computers, Environment and Urban Systems; Annals of the Association of American Geographers; Environment and Planning A; Geographical Analysis; Journal of Geographical Systems; Urban Geography; and Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 2003-present.

    • “An Introduction to Geographical Information Systems” Book Review, Pearson Education Prentice Hall Press, 2003.
  • Association of Public Health Epidemiologists in Ontario, member, 2009.
  • Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) International Best Paper Award, Committee Member, 1999-2001.
  • URISA Atlantic Chapter, Executive committee member, 1999-2000.
  • Regional Science Association (International), member, 2003-2004.
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, member, 1987-present.
  • The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, member, 1990-present.

Visit the School of Planning webpages and my Planning webpage.

Invited talks and workshops

  • International workshop on "GPS and GIS Integration: Extending Research Frontiers", Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, December 16, 2012. 
  • GEOMED 2011, 7th International, Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Statistics and Geomedical Systems, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
  • American Association of Geographers 2011 Annual Meeting, Seattle, USA.
  • Ontario Association of Law Enforcement Planners (OALEP) 2010 Fall Business Symposium, Kitchener, Ontario, 2010.
  • Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, 40th Annual Symposium, “Global perspectives on Human Health and Nutrition”, University of Guelph, 2010.
  •  “GIS in Public Health” workshop for Discovery Days in Health Sciences, coordinated by the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (Canadian Medical Association), University of Waterloo, Ontario, 2010.
  • Department of Geography, University of Buffalo, New York, USA, 2009.
  • Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training Program (IGERT) Colloquium Series, University of Buffalo, New York, USA, 2009.
  • Healthy Communities Knowledge Exchange Forum, University of Waterloo, 2008.
  • The Vespucci Initiative for the advancement of geographic information science, International “Spatial analysis” workshop, Fiesole, Italy, 2004.
  • Royal Statistical Society, Local Group Seminar, Department of Statistics, Sheffield University, UK, 2003. 
  • Centre for Applied Statistics, Lancaster University, UK, 2003.
  • Social Science and Statistics Seminar, University of Southhampton, UK, 2003.
  • Department of Statistics, Economics, Accounting and Management Systems, University of Hertfordshire Statistics Seminar, UK, 2002.