Data on Geographic Variations

Data on Geographic Variations

Geographical variations and analyses provide valuable information for cancer study. Data on geographic variations in cancer can be obtained by using the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Geographic Information System (GIS), which integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts. GIS helps you answer questions and solve problems by looking at data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared.

How GIS Tools are Used

GIS tools are used at CCR for a variety of applications, including:

  • The identification and display of the geographic patterns of cancer incidence and mortality rates in California and their change over time
  • The creation of complex databases for the study of cancer screening, diagnosis, and survival at the community level
  • Environmental exposure assessment through satellite imagery
  • Spatial statistical models to estimate cancer incidence, prevalence, and survival for California
  • Communication of local cancer information to the public and public health professionals through interactive web-based tools
  • The identification of health disparities at the local level through the comparison of cancer outcomes across demographic subgroups
  • Development of new methods of displaying geospatial data for clear communication to the public and for examination of complex multivariate data by researchers

Accessing GIS Data

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has an ArcGIS server which allows access to interactive maps and tables containing data collected in California. Learn more about how to access the CDPH GIS system.