Interactive Web Atlas Can Map, Analyze, and Display Community Health Data

December 17, 2008
Todd Kunkler

The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and the American Academy of Family Physicians announced the launch of HealthLandscape.

The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and the American Academy of Family Physicians today announced the launch of HealthLandscape, an “interactive Web atlas that allows health professionals, policy makers, academic researchers and planners to combine, analyze and display information in ways that promote better understanding of health and the forces that affect it.”

According to a news release announcing the launch, this online resource “brings together various sources of health, socio-economic and environmental information in a convenient, central location to help answer questions about and improve health and healthcare.”

Users upload and “geocode” healthcare data they then combine with other publicly available data sets and use HealthLandscape to “create maps, view tables, discover community characteristics and share information with health professionals, policy makers, and legislators.”

Andrew Bazemore, assistant director of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Robert Graham Center, said HealthLandscape will play “a significant role in broadening the opportunity for a much wider array of users to work with, display, share and benefit from community health data.” He also said that physicians and others who “serve the cause of improving the health in their communities will be able to use maps () to better understand local issues and have the data needed to make more informed health policy decisions.”

Pat O’Connor, vice president and COO of The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, said that “Most never thought something like HealthLandscape could be done, and at the start of its development, we found nothing on the market that would allow people to easily interact with and map large amounts of health data.

HealthLandscape lets people become more involved in and better educated about the health of our communities.” HealthLandscape features a Primary Care Atlas that can be used by physicians to, among other things, determine whether their office or clinic is in a Health Professional Shortage Area or a Medicare Physician Scarcity Area that may be eligible for Medicare bonus payments.

To learn more about how HealthLandscapesworks, how you can get started using this tool, and more, click here.

Additional Resources:

More public health agencies are “combining their geospatial information with third-party datasets to create new views into the healthcare landscape”

HealthLandscape information and tutorial from the AAFP

Public health and health services portal