Introduction to Mapping Health Data - resource guide (HGEO 104)


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) enable researchers to explore the complex relationships between determinants of human health and well-being using a spatial perspective. While GIS provides easy-to-use tools for exploring and analyzing health data, there are a number of key issues that users should be aware of before mapping or spatially analyzing health data.

This resource guide includes an overview of key analytical issues and best practices when mapping health data including:

  • Working with point data
  • Working with line data
  • Working with area data
  • Study area boundary and edge effects
  • Cartographic fundamentals

Resource format

This guide is provided as a PDF document for review and download. For related information please see the following online courses:

  • HGEO 101 GIS and Epidemiology
  • HGEO 102 Spatial Epidemiology

Access fee

Access to this guide is free. Go to: and, if you do not already have a my.popdata account you will need to sign up and create one.

Once you have a my.popdata account, go to the Education & Training section of the my.popdata site at You can then login in with your PopData account username and passphrase and self-enroll to access the guide/course.