Mapping and Evaluation of Community Resources, Access, and Populations Using Public-Use Software and Data Files

To visualize entities that could potentially address the unmet needs of at-risk and disadvantaged community members, a series of activities and exercises geared to participants with little programming or GIS experience were developed using geographic and population information. The learning activities and exercises progress from navigating an existing map to creating a map and uploading to harnessing freely available resources like US Census Bureau data to produce visualizations that link geographic and demographic information. Participants will apply these tools and resources to a specific public health question in a specific region and produce a data-driven report on the answers.

By the end of this lesson, students will have combined geographic and demographic data related to public health resources. By processing and uploading data to the map, you have created a custom display where geographic information can be related to other data elements (e.g., population, etc.). This basic workflow is analogous to that used by GIS professionals using sophisticated tools. However, in this activity, we were able to approximate this capability using freely available and relatively user-friendly resources.

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