GIS and Geospatial Data

This guide provides information on GIS software, training/classes available at the University of Arizona, where to find geospatial data, and interactive and static maps.    

For assistance, contact Chris Kollen at


Spatial Data and Online Maps – GIS and Public Health –  GIS Software and Services



PolicyMap (UA only) – easy-to-use mapping program that includes over 15,000 US demographic and socioeconomic data indicators from the neighborhood census block to national levels. Data about demographics, neighborhood conditions, real estate markets, income, jobs and economy, education, crime, and health can be presented as maps, tables, charts and reports. Use their data or upload your own to create customizable maps with a wide variety of data variables. Results may be shared and exported.

Social Explorer (public access and UA only) – provides easy access to current and historical census data and demographic information for the United States through maps and customized reports. Also includes data from the U.S. Census' American Community Survey and 1980-2000 Religious Congregations and Membership Study. Data used in Social Explorer is available from the National Historic GIS to download.

Border Studies

Humane Borders – This web site is the result of ongoing partnership between the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner and Humane Borders, Inc. Provides geographic information allowing users to query data concerning migrant deaths, view data using on-line maps and tables, and download data for further use. 

Rural Assistance Center (RAC) – A product of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Rural Initiative, RAC offers a collection of Rural Border Health Maps that can be customized by using the free mapping tool at Community Commons (listed below in Other Resources). RAC also offers other health related maps found at


CDC GIS Web Applications – Collection of CDC-hosted GIS web resources for visualizing data. Subjects include: Environmental Health Analyst, Migrant Clinicians’ Network HEART, Reproductive Health, WONDER-GATHER Mapping Extension, as well as state and county level applications. 

CDC Chronic Disease GIS Exchange – An online forum for showcasing maps of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases (e.g., cancer, diabetes, and asthma) as well as learning Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques and accessing a wide range of GIS-related resources. The site encourages the use of GIS to document the burden of chronic diseases, inform and guide policy and program decisions, build and strengthen partnerships, and facilitate collaboration among health department programs, especially within chronic disease units. 

CDC NCHHSTP Atlas –The NCHHSTP Atlas is an interactive tool for accessing HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary and secondary syphilis data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP). Currently, the Atlas provides interactive maps, graphs, tables, and figures showing geographic patterns and time trends. The NCHHSTP has also created a YouTube tutorial to help. In addition, the NCHHSTP has created pre-made presentations that can be used as is with examples of the analyses that can be performed with the Atlas. The site also provides state profiles for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB that include statistics and descriptions of prevention and control programs supported by CDC and state public health officials.

Diabetes State Atlas – Interactive tool to view maps and charts of diabetes data and trends at the U.S. state level. Features include 1) customizable maps and graphics of diabetes surveillance data; 2) an interactive application to view state-specific trends by age and sex; and 3) downloadable maps, charts, and data tables that can be used in grant applications, reports, articles, and publications.

Epi Info 7.1.4 – simple tools that allow rapid creation of data collection instruments and data analysis, visualization, and reporting using epidemiologic methods. Epi Map module displays geographic maps with data from Epi Info. Built around ESRI MapObjects software displaying shapefiles containing geographic boundaries layered with data results from the Analysis module. EPI Info also provides training resources and guided tutorials


Enforcement & Compliance History Online – ECHO permits dynamic mapping of federal and state EPA data, enabling searches for air, water, hazardous waste, enforcement cases, and facilities data. It also maps annual federal and state EPA enforcement actions, and includes a Clean Water Act trends map for the state and federal level, with information on permits, inspection coverage, compliance monitoring, enforcement action, and total assessed penalties. One is able to search by address, zip, city, county, waterbody, or park name.

Indian Health Service (IHS)

GIS System map – was created from Indian Health Service data and publicly accessible data such as the National Atlas, U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S.G.S. Geographic Names Information System. Several of the background layers are added using internet map services from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). The map layers and data on this site are available to the public and can be downloaded, as well as used to create maps using the map interface provided.

*This is a young product and will be continually growing to include more data.


Global Health Atlas – From the World Health Organization (WHO), this atlas brings together standardized data and statistics for infectious diseases at the country, regional and global levels. (World Health Organization)

HealthMap - Global Disease Alert Map – Brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health.(Boston Children’s Hospital)

Visualizing a Changing Region, Block by Block" Map – Launched by the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center, this interactive map offers 2000-2010 race and ethnic population change at the neighborhood level for 15 metro areas.


USDA Food Environment Atlas – Provides data at state (few at county) level concerning access and proximity to grocery stores, availability of food stores and restaurants, expenditures on food and restaurants, food assistance, food eaten at home, food insecurity, food prices, food taxes, health (diabetes, adult and preschool obesity), local foods, etc.


Disease Maps – provides US maps for the reported outbreaks of 8 diseases down to the county level, with a breakdown of reported cases by month at the state level. The diseases mapped here are West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, La Crosse Encephalitis, Powassan Virus, and both local and imported Dengue Fever. Click on the disease name to see detailed US maps, then click on a state for the county and monthly outbreak details. Each disease's page has a link to background information on it with a brief description of the disease, and a link to historical maps for it with most going back to 2003.

Other resources

Community Commons – A free interactive mapping, networking, and learning utility for the broad-based healthy, sustainable, and livable communities movement. Users have access to all kinds of tools and information. One highlight is the searchable profiles of hundreds of place-based community initiatives (multi-sector collaboratives) working towards healthy/sustainable/livable/equitable communities. Signing up 

Cancer Mortality Maps and Graphs: Cancer death rates during 1950-2004 for more than 40 cancers.

Flu Vaccination Map – Mapping tool for researchers, providers, and health care workers to track influenza (flu) vaccination claims rates of Medicare beneficiaries in real-time. It includes information for every county and zip code in the United States. (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.) 

HealthLandscape – Free and publicly available interactive web-based mapping tool that allows health professionals, policy makers, academic researchers, and planners to combine, analyze and display information in ways that promote better understanding of health and the forces that affect it. The tool can be used to create maps from publicly available data sets including regional criminal justice, education, healthcare, and demographic data, allowing users to discover community characteristics and share information with health professionals, policy makers, and legislators. (Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati) 

Justice Map – visualizes race and income data for US communities and counties powered by Census Data.  

State Cancer Profiles – The objective of the State Cancer Profiles website is to provide a system to characterize the cancer burden in a standardized manner in order to motivate action, integrate surveillance into cancer control planning, characterize areas and demographic groups, and expose health disparities. The focus is on cancer sites for which there are evidence based control interventions. Interactive graphics and maps provide visual support for deciding where to focus cancer control efforts. (National Cancer Institute, NIH (NCI)) 

Tapestry Segmentation – U.S. residential areas divided into 65 segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics to provide an accurate, detailed description of U.S. neighborhoods. (ESRI)

TOXMAP – Allows users to create nationwide or local area maps using data from the U.S. EPA's Toxic Release Inventory. Users can search the system by chemical name, chemical name fragment, and/or location (such as city, state, or zip code). TOXMAP maps show where chemicals are released on-site into the air, water, and ground. It also identifies releasing facilities, single year releases, and chemical release trends over time. Also included are mortality data from the CDC and the National Cancer Institute, as well as age and gender data from US Census, and income data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. (National Library of Medicine, Specialized Information Services Division)

Last modified: November 19, 2015