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GIS and Public Health: A Guide: Geocoding

Resources for GIS and Geocoding in relation to public health

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

GIS data sets can be useful for many purposes. They are used primarily to display data geographically. In public health, applications for GIS are becoming more accessible as geo-coded health data and environmental exposure data increasingly become available, and new and easier-to-use GIS software is developed. The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR) uses GIS to monitor the health of persons living near hazardous waste sites, and to identify areas of potential concern resulting from accidental release of chemicals in the environment. 


Policy Map offers easy-to-use online mapping with data on demographics, real estate, health, jobs and more in communities across the US. Follow PolicyMap on Twitter @policymap

SPHTM  Faculty comments

  1. "I attended the PolicyMap training and tried it. I love it very much. It has a lot of data related with demographics, incomes & spending, quality of life, economy, education, and public health. It will be helpful for my students in the database management class to get data for their final project and show them as a map."
  2. "I think that having Quality of Life as a data point really struck home for me in this presentation."
  3. "PolicyMap will also be very helpful for our research. I always want to have a map to show where our >13,500 recruited subjects come from. With the PolicyMap data loader function, now I can visually see it."
  4. "The PolicyMap data will help the effectively execution of our new NIH grant too. It allows us to locate direct mail campaign areas in order to recruit subjects with age 20-30. The 3-layer maps enable us to easily locate areas meet our criteria. Meanwhile, it also allows us to download and share the data with investigators."

5."This is great!...Can use for so many projects!"

"Very cool and relevant to a grant [I'm] writing!"

Domestic Data

Louisiana data

Data visualization

Geocoding Resouces

If you have address-based data that you wish to map in GIS, you'll need to assign latitude and longitude coordinates to your data so you can plot them as points.

Finding Spatial Data

Sharing non-sensitive data about the urban and rural environment allows researchers and technologists to  create new ways of understanding nature and society. 

GIS and emergency response

The use of digital mapping is becoming more important in the decision-making process during responses to emergencies. Below are examples of tools and resources that have been used in  responses and events.

Global Data

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