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PHDL Resources: Policy Map’s Data Sources

Posted by on August 22nd, 2023 Posted in: Blog, PHDL Resources, Public Health, Public Health Policy

Curious about what is behind Policy Map?  Do you like digging into the details behind visualizations? Interested in the data backbone of Policy Map?


Policy Map, a data mapping resource is available through the Public Health Digital Library.  This resource helps users visualize data by combining different data sources and displaying them based on location.   The mapping application and analytics platform is built for non-GIS professionals, data-literate researchers, and everyone in between.   Policy Map collects data from authoritative public and private sources.  The data is analyzed, cleaned up and standarized.  Once the data is standardized across indicators, it can be analyzed and displayed.

Policy Map’s Data Dictionary lists the data sources behind the maps.  Each soucre listed in the dictionary includes details, topics, source, years available, description,and a link to more information.  Additional information such as whether the data is publicly available or available as part of a subscription, and whether the data can be downloaded is also included.

Here is a sample of a data profile in the Policy Map dictionary:


Policy Map’s data dictionary can be viewed on their website.   Policy Map also provides a Data Directory which summarizes all data sources and groups them by categories.

Image of the author ABOUT Kathy Downing
Kathy Downing is the Public Health Digital Library Coordinator for the NNLM Public Health Coordination Office.

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This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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