What’s your community health literacy profile, eh?

Todd Vandenbark

search for health literacy postsWhat do you get when you combine community health literacy rates with graphic information system (GIS) software? An interactive map that uses color to show how health literate the population is across a city, province or country. As reported on the GIS Use in Public Health and Health Care blog, “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.”

Move your mouse over a region (one or more provinces) and it turns a darker shade of grey. Click on the region, and it takes you to a map of that region. Using the map tools (zoom, move, etc.), you can zoom quite far in to a given area.

A tool like this could help show patterns in areas needing additional education and outreach. And if the U.S. had a map like this, one could add an optional overlay to note “red” and “blue” states, which might offer additional insights for which political leaders could be enlisted to assist with raising awareness and health literacy levels.

Does the U.S. have a map like this? How else could this information be used? Tell us (in the comments)!