How GIS has changed our world


You Might Have a Radon Problem

Radon Risk

The Washington State Department of Health developed a new map depicting potential risks from radon gas. Radon is a colorless, odorless byproduct created during the decay of uranium found in rocks. Since it is a gas , it can seep into homes and be inhaled by the occupants. Exposure to radon can increase the likelihood of getting lung cancer. the new maps highlight areas where rock formations have the potential for uranium deposits and thus a higher overall risk of radon exposure.

Not sure if randon is a problem in your area? Don’t sweat it. You can buy a simple and inexpensive home test kit at a hardware stores or online in order to provide assurance or suggest other steps to need to be taken.

Read the full article here and check out the map.

Juhi Mawla, Intern,

2014 Intermountain GIS Conference

Intermountain GIS conference

The 2014 Intermountain GIS Conference is being held from April 7-11 2014 in Billings, MT. The conference will include workshops, presentation and poster tracks, featured speakers, and a public night. There are scholarships available for students.

For more information, visit their website.

Juhi Mawla, Intern,

Apply for the EPA Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreements Program


The EPA is seeking applications for the 2014 Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program. Funding is available for  eligible applicants for projects that address local environmental and/or public health issues within an affected community.  Awards are up to $120,000 per award for a two-year project period.  The deadline for applications is February 18, 2014.

Interested in applying? Why don’t you try a mapping project and use Mappler?

For more information, check out the EPA website and grant guidelines.

Juhi Mawla, Intern,

Reducing CO2 Emissions in NYC Buildings

Lab Mapper Screen Shot

Did you know that the majority of New York City’s CO2 emissions comes from buildings? Not exactly what you expected from an auto-dependent city? Heating, cooling, lighting, and general operations can use a vast amount of energy. To meet the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30% before 2030, New York City is targeting energy reduction in the city’s largest buildings. Since 2010, buildings 50,000 sq. ft. and over have been required to benchmark their energy and water use as part of Local Law 84.

The Energy Locus map was created in collaboration with Mappler and the Community Mapping Initiative, a student interest group at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers. The map includes the 2011 EPA Energy Star score for hundreds of commercials buildings in New York City that were required to comply with Local Law 84.

This map allows users to search for addresses and determine a listing’s Energy Star Score. Buildings with a score of 75 and higher indicate the facility performs better than at least 75% of similar buildings nationwide when accounting for weather and operating conditions.


Juhi Mawla, Intern,

“New England study shows kids’ health care can vary widely by location.”

The Dartmouth Atlas released a report on a new study of pediatric care which identifies regional variations in the kinds of treatment and medication children receive. A previous study conducted in 1970, showed a 40% variation in tonsillectomies among children in the same age group based on where they lived. The new study replicated and expanded on the same issues. Tonsillectomies were four times higher in New Hampshire than in Maine. There was a 26% difference in annual physician visits among children in New Hampshire, a 78% difference in lead screening rates among children under two years of age between New Hampshire and Maine, and a 40% difference in medications prescribed for children with ADHD across Maine. This leads to more questions like: Could socio-economic factors be driving the variations of care in New England?
Reported by CNN
New England Tonsillectomies

Interactive California Healthcare Atlas

The California Healthcare Atlas presented by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) helps to visualize healthcare information and offers a better snapshot of the healthcare “landscape” of the state.

The application is interactive and utilizes GIS mapping. The application provides detailed information about hospitals, finance data, primary care clinics, hospital reports, and more.

Access it here: Interactive California Healthcare Atlas

Lisa MacCarrigan, Research Assistant, Vertices,

Interactive Mapping & Health Literacy Profiles

The Canadian Council on Learning has developed an interactive map that provides easy access to health literacy profiles for more than 49,000 communities and neighborhoods in Canada. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines five levels of literacy that the interactive map shows ranging from very poor literacy skills to strong skills.

Using GIS transforms quantitative and qualitative information pertaining to locations (from point data to entire countries) into visually striking and understandable interactive maps and other graphics. Interactive maps like these can make it easier to understand health-related issues because maps provide a geographic visual of the extent of what is happening.

Check it out here

Lisa MacCarrigan, Research Assistant, Vertices


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