Provincial Health Services Authority releases online mapping tool for community health planning



On June 26th, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) launched the BC Community Health Atlas. The Atlas, an interactive mapping tool that displays population health indicators by geographic area was created in partnership with the B.C. Ministry of Health, Vancouver Island Health Authority, BC Stats and DataBC.

People can use this new mapping tool to easily display and compare health indicator patterns across local health areas or by school districts. All BC Community Health Atlas data is the most currently available, sourced from multiple publically-available sources and brought together in a single user-friendly tool.

When data is portrayed on a map it becomes easier to comprehend and to see patterns. This capability is invaluable for people involved in local-level decision-making and planning for community health initiatives across B.C. This includes health authorities, local governments, school systems, community groups, non-governmental organizations or research settings.

Using the tool, people can select a population level indicator from over 200 options related to community health and well-being and see the data displayed across a map of B.C. The indicators are grouped into eight main themes: health, children, youth, demographic profile, economic conditions, labour market conditions, or education. The tool also provides choices to display the indicators by local health area or by school district.

The data powering the new tool is provided by BC Stats, the Ministry of Health, Statistics Canada, and the Ministry of Education and maps from DataBC.

Visit www.phsa.ca/communityhealthatlas to find links to the Atlas, user guides, and further background information.

For further information about the Atlas, contact Dr. Drona Rasali, Director, Population Health Surveillance & Epidemiology, PHSA at pph@phsa.ca.

Guest post by Sarah Gustin, Manager, Knowledge Translation & Communications, Population and Public Health, PHSA