Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Announcing the New and Improved Virginia Rural Health Data Portal!

On May 5, the Virginia Rural Health Data Portal underwent some significant updates that we think our users will really like. Since the Data Portal was introduced in November 2009, users were only able to get data for one county or area at a time. With this update, you can now compare a county to another county, service areas such as planning districts and health planning regions, and measures of rurality. Because of the how some of the rates in the system are calculated, some figures for larger areas that require base data which we do not have will not show.

Additionally, over the past several months, we have been updating data to provide the most current available. Included in these new data are the initial 2010 population figures from the US Census. We have also archived older data in the Downloads section.

The other major change is an update to the mapping component. One key feature is the ability to zoom to a specific area of the map quickly by drawing a rectangle over that area. The layers have been grouped together for ease in scrolling through the list. Some new layers have been added. In addition, the user has the ability to adjust the transparency of the layer colors to meet their needs. The user also has the capability to add labels and save their custom map to a .pdf file.

The Virginia Rural Health Resource Center expects to offer a series of user webinars to help you better use the data portal. If you are interested, please contact Ken Cook, Director of Technical Assistance, at (540) 904-2509, or e-mail him at vrhrc.cook@gmail.com.

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