The Availability of Food

These maps from 2010 show the availability of grocery store locations and also the percentage of people who had a car to get there. The topic of food availability is already an interesting conversation.. is there enough food? Is there enough food, but it just isn’t distributed evenly? Why is healthy food more expense then unhealthy? Why has food become more of a business then of a way to survive? Take a look at these maps, because they bring another problem into the mix! Transportation and accessibility.

The information for the maps was collected from the USDA Food Environment Atlas and the maps were created by Meharry Medical College.

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Vacant Housing Units 2010- 2014

This map was put together by Meharry Medical College with data from 2010- 2014 from the  America Community Survey. The data represents the percentage empty housing units across the US with the lightest color representing 1-12.4% and the darkest red color showing 44.9-81.3%. View this map and other data maps on


Mapping School Meals-

I came across an interesting map that showed schools across the US that offered the National school Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program from 2014 to 2015. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for young learners, but for some students a good first meal of the day isn’t always attainable. This program makes sure that students can start their day off right with a good meal! Across the board from 2014-2015 the US did a pretty good job with participating in both programs, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Check to see how your area measured! Thanks for the interesting information & map! Take a look at the rest of the map by clicking here.

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Take a look at this interesting map we made on Mappler in collaboration with Planning Communities! The map is full of GIS layers that you can toggle to show various information such as crime, food, recreation, transit, and URISA health data in DC. The picture below shows URISA data marking sidewalks, intersections, homeless locations, and garbage. Visit the map to view all the data !

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Happy Earth Day! NYC Tree Map

Trees help city areas with reducing pollution, they help to improve health, and overall bring a sense of calm to a place known for fast-pace living. Here is a map we created on Mappler using data from the TreesCount! 2015 by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. This map is color-coded based on condition of the trees. 

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Looking at the density screenshot, it is interesting to view where the best versus worst rated trees are located. The photo on the left shows where the worst rated trees are, and the right shows the trees rated as the best. Lets keep adding trees to our concrete jungle! Click here to see the site.

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Mean PM 2.5 Levels in Air

PM, or particulate matter, are tiny solid or liquid particles found in the atmosphere. Particulate matter is considered the most dangerous form of air pollution as the tiny particles can easily be absorbed by the lungs into the blood stream causing many health issues. The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization both consider particulates to be a Group 1 Carcinogen. PM 2.5 are particulates with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers. PM 2.5 particulates are especially dangerous as their small size allows them to penetrate the lungs more easily. We have taken data from the EPA and created a map that shows the mean PM 2.5 levels across the United States. Check out how clean the air is in your city or state below, and keep checking our site for more maps and data on air and water pollution! Vertices gis consulting community map pm25.png

NYT Income and Life Expectancy Map

It seems logical that the more money you have, the longer you would be expected to live. This would be because you can afford better healthcare, maintain a healthier lifestyle, have access to better nutrition, and probably have less stress when it comes to day-to-day life because you are financially stable. The New York Times recently released an article that affirmed this thought, but also gave an eye-opening spin on the life expectancy of the poor based on where they live, showing that cities like LA and New York the life expectancy of those under the poverty line is higher then other cities in the US.

Health plays a significant role in the life span of a human, which seems obvious but when you look at the numbers, it can be shocking. The Journal of the American Medical Association states that the richest men live 15 years longer then the poorest 1 percent. So why do the poor living in cities like Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Dayton, and Tulsa to name a few, have lower life expectancies? David M. Cutler who is a economist at Harvard explains that a lot of cities with the lowest life expectancy for the poor fall into the “drug overdose belt”. Other explanations are just the availability to clinics and health education. Increasing health resources would slowly help to increase life expectancy in cities with the lowest life spans.

Take a look at the map from the NYT and see where your area compares. Looking at where you live, do you think your area provides enough health resources for those who can’t afford it?

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All information for this post is from an article by The New York Times.


Poverty Map- US Census Bureau

Here is another interesting map that we created using Mappler which displays the percentage of the population in 2010 that was considered below the poverty line. This information was gather from the U.S. Census Bureau. Red indicates areas where 30 to about 50 percent are considered living in poverty and blue shows areas where 0 to 10 percent are considered below the poverty line.


Adult Obesity Map

This is a map that we created based off of data from the Center for Disease Control. This information shows the percentage of adults that were classified as obese in the year 2010. Blue indicates areas with the lowest percentages, while red shows areas where obesity in adults is more prevalent. It is interesting to think about the fact that we have so much food here in the US, yet getting a hold of healthy options is more difficult then it should be. #foodforthought

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The Most Distinctive Causes of Death by State, 2001-2010

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This map put out by the CDC, shows the most distinctive causes of death in the United States. This map is colored coded to be easier to read and as you can see the key below the map shows what the cause of death is. There are interesting limitations to keep in mind while looking at the map. On the CDC site they explain “A limitation of this map is that it depicts only 1 distinctive cause of death for each state. All of these were significantly higher than the national rate, but there were many others also significantly higher than the national rate that were not mapped. The map is also predisposed to showing rare causes of death — for 22 of the states, the total number of deaths mapped was under 100. Using broader cause-of-death categories or requiring a higher threshold for the number of deaths would result in a different map. These limitations are characteristic of maps generally and are why these maps are best regarded as snapshots and not comprehensive statistical summaries” ( To take a closer look at the map and read the background of the project go to

all information from click here to see the site. contact