Skip to main content

Seeing Data in a New Light: Data Visualization Techniques to Improve Understanding


In 2002, the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (Tracking Program) to address the challenges and gaps in the nation'™s environmental health surveillance infrastructure. The Tracking Program's mission is to provide information from a nationwide network of integrated health and environmental data that drives actions to improve the health of communities. As a primary objective of the Tracking Program, the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network) was developed as an online surveillance system with data available for 23 topics and over 450 different health, environmental, and population measures. The integration and display of such disparate data can be challenging. For data consumers without scientific training, or even scientists and public health professionals with limited time, it can be difficult to examine and explore the data in an online surveillance system. Additionally, casual data consumers may not require complex data details; a big picture perspective may be appropriate to their needs. The Tracking Network which applies standardized data, a modern user interface, techniques catering to a variety of data consumers, and best practices in data visualization provides a dynamic data query system that allows users to visualize different types of environmental health data in numerous ways including a variety of charting, mapping, and graphing options. Objective: The presenter will demonstrate complex health and environment surveillance data visualization techniques within the CDC's Environmental Public Health Tracking Network.

Submitted by elamb on