Wednesday, November 18, 2015

GIS Day, 2015

GIS Day has been celebrated annually on the third Wednesday of November since 1999. Over the past 16 years, it has grown from a small, informal celebration to an international phenomenon, with over 1,000 events taking place around the world.

The goal of the celebration is to show off all of the amazing things that can be done with GIS. Organizations and companies across multiple industries use the same technology to tell their very different stories, and this gives us a chance to take a look around and see what's going on in the world around us.

Head over to Twitter and browse through the #GISDay posts to find new and interesting ways that GIS is helping us to understand our world. Some of my personal favorites:

The Bear Trust International Bears of the World story map, created by our friends at Blue Raster. The Bear Trust wanted to create lessons centered around bear research and ecology.

The MapED open data homepage - a central location for accessing the vast data collections of the US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

This Climate Connections map, and the rest of the ISTE Mapping collection housed by PBS.

When it comes to GIS, there really is something for everyone, wherever your interests lie.

Jené Grandmont
Senior Manager, Application Development and Data Services

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Everything That’s Old is New Again

You’ve been hearing a lot about population health, social determinants of health and community vital signs lately from the team here at HealthLandscape.  That’s because we are hearing about it a lot lately from you.

We are currently working on a number of projects that help health care researchers and providers access these data.  We are working on projects that make these community-level data available at the patient level so that practices can understand the community from which they are drawing patients; so that providers have community context for the patient sitting in front of them; so that researchers can better understand community-level effects on patient outcomes.  To these ends, we have developed the Community Vital Signs API which will geocode and geoenrich patient-level, clinical information systems’ data.  For more information, please visit:

I was honored to be invited to speak at the Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition as part of a two-hour session discussing the old concept of Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) in their Medical Informatics section.  This old concept of treating the whole community, not just the patients that show up in the doctor’s office, is the foundation of all the current interest in patient- and community-centeredness in medicine.   It’s exciting to be part of the movement that may finally help COPC find its footing in mainstream health care circles.  In our session, we discussed how one medical school is training providers to learn how to incorporate these community-level data into treatment decisions and see them as just as important as weight, blood pressure and heart rate.  We showed providers who were not trained in these methods how they can access the community-level data and begin to integrate them into their practices.

This is a part of ongoing work that started with the Robert Graham Center and the National Association of Community Health Centers a few years ago.  If you would like to learn more about that or access a full curriculum to help you learn the tenets of COPC, please visit:

 If you would like to learn more about the work that HealthLandscape is doing related to Community Vital Signs, Social Determinants of Health, or Community Oriented Primary Care, contact Jennifer Rankin, or Mark Carrozza,  We’d love to discuss it with you.

Jennifer Rankin
Senior Manager, Research and Product Services