From Our Blog

The Network’s Picks: Mapping Community Health

This blog series features our favorite maps, infographics, and videos that highlight the relationship between neighborhoods and health. Tell us what you think and share your own favorites @BHPNetwork.

We know that there are health and economic disparities across communities especially when it comes to access to affordable housing, healthy food, and even neighborhood parks.

Community Commons is an interactive mapping tool created to inspire change and improve communities. Thousands of databases are combined in categories such as income/economy, education, food, environment, and health. Through the use of maps, reports, and stories, Community Commons helps users implement action plans for local communities.

Why We Like It: The easy-to-navigate, open source interface allows users to map both publicly available and user-shared data with no special training and at no cost. Hospitals and healthcare systems can also use the Indicator Reports to develop Community Health Needs Assessments to meet their Affordable Care Act requirements. Finally, the Vulnerable Populations Footprint tool maps poverty rate and educational attainment as measures of health disparities and community vulnerability.

Where You Can Find it: Learn more and explore the tool at Read more about how the tool can be used to support cross-sector collaboration through our own MeasureUp.

What Maps Click for You? What maps have helped you show the relationship between neighborhoods and health? Share your own @BHPNetwork #mapsthatclick.


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This map showing income inequality in St. Paul, MN was created by the author. Read more about local efforts to address the issue in the Network’s Community Close-Up series.


See more of our favorite maps:

The Power of Maps, July 16, 2015
The Power of Maps, Continued, July 30, 2015
#MapsThatClick, August 10, 2015
Mapping Child Opportunity, August 27, 2015
Mapping Residential Displacement and Gentrification, September 29, 2015
Mapping Social Determinants of Health, Nov 5, 2015


About the Author

Joshua Fisher

Joshua Fisher is a Research Associate for the Build Healthy Places Network. Josh will receive his MPH from Touro University California at the end of the year. He studies the effect of Subjective Social Status on a variety of health outcomes with Dr. Miranda Weintraub (Touro), Dr. Nancy Adler (UCSF) and Dr. Aric Prather (UCSF). He has also started coursework for a second masters, in biomedical imaging, from UCSF, with an expected graduation of August 2016. He received his BS in Biology from UCLA and grew up in Bakersfield, California.