(Photo by Flickr user Yianni Mathioudakis, used under a Creative Commons license)
The Baltimore City Health Department is rolling out maps to visualize health data.
Developed by city epidemiologists, an initial group of four maps forms the foundation of a gallery that the Health Department hopes to add to over time.
“We hope these maps and analyses help to inform residents, researchers and policymakers about health challenges and potential solutions — moving everyone to action,” said Health Commissioner Leana Wen.
While they’re from the health department, the maps don’t show specific diseases (Sickweather has that covered). The public health visualizations look at data that is more closely linked to underlying factors.
One map looks at social determinants of health, such as birth rate, life expectancy and rent affordability.
- Data from the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance’s Vital Signs effort provided a neighborhood-level look:
A second series of maps looks at health insurance information.
- Maryland Health Connection data shows what percentage of people in each neighborhood are on public exchanges. The maps also break down the data into categories such as number of children without insurance, and number of employed people who don’t have insurance:
As recent research suggests, the Health Department is also approaching violence like an epidemic. The maps assist in showing this connection.
- An animation of shootings moves much like a spreading virus, while plotting homicides shows that the mean location has shifted west over the last five years: