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Health Statistics: Maps and Mapping Software

Statistical information relating to health and disease.

Mapping Software

Why use maps in health research?

You can use maps to help you identify geographic areas with health disparities, economic differences, or other characteristics. This can help you select an appropriate area or issue for research.

You can also use maps to communicate your research findings. Maps can be quick ways to communicate complex ideas.

Check out these sites to see maps relating to health research.

LA Times: California's Growing Public Health Threat shows immunization opt-out requests received by schools in California, indicating the percent of unvaccinated kindergarteners at each school. In this map, dots indicate the schools from which data was collected. Dark grey dots indicate that up to 3.1% of students are unvaccinated; grey dots indicate 3.1-8% are unvaccinated; light orange dots mean 8-20% are unvaccinated, and bright orange dots mean over 20% are unvaccinated. 

TraumaMaps shows one health disparity: areas of the United States where individuals have to travel over 60 minutes by helicopter to access trauma centers. Use the Map Options to add information about population age, type of trauma center, and additional data.

Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles Health Atlas provides hundreds of maps covering different health, social, and economic indicators for the people of Los Angeles. The map on the left shows Mental Illness Hospitalization Rate per 100,000 residents (darker colors indicate higher rates) and comes from chapter 6 of Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles Health Atlas.

How can I find out more?

The USC Libraries provide support and assistance with mapping. Check out these sites and contact the librarians named on the sites to get help!