Geocoding as a tool to bring place into studies of health

We know that place matters to health.  There are many resources at UCSF and elsewhere to do place-based health research better.

Access to geocoded UCSF EHR data
  • Geocoded UCSF Health patient address data are available in the Clinical Data Warehouse for UCSF researchers with IRB approval. Through geocoding, we leverage UCSF's own clinical data resources to catalyze population health and health equity research on campus.
Additional Resources:
  • The UCSF DREAM Lab (Disparities Research: Environments And oMics) is a multidisciplinary research team that studies and addresses health disparities at the population level. With a multilevel approach to investigate health disparities, the team is pioneering methods to meaningfully integrate UCSF’s geocoded clinical data with place-based information that characterize neighborhoods—including socio-economic status, green space, walkability, housing, and more, available from the California Neighborhoods Data System. Additional information and tools on using these neighborhood measures are coming soon.
  • The Area Deprivation Index, published by the University of Wisconsin, allows for neighborhood rankings by socioeconomic status disadvantage in a region of interest, which can be linked to clinical data. 
  • Opportunity Insights, a nonprofit organization based at Harvard University, has published a series of geospatial datasets on social mobility. 
  • The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) Neighborhood Edition is an online health query system that allows you to quickly search for health statistics on your county, region, and state. 
  • 500 Cities is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the CDC Foundation. The project provides city- and census tract-level small-area estimates for chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and clinical preventive service use for the largest 500 cities in the United States.
  • Esri builds ArcGIS, a powerful mapping and spatial analysis software. 
  • Community Commons is a free online platform providing access to data, tools, and stories to improve communities and inspire change. It includes an online, interactive mapping tool where data from various sources, including the census, American Community Survey, and the CDC’s 500 Cities Project can be layered and mapped at various levels of geographic granularity. Community Commons is a part of the nonprofit Institute for People, Place, and Possibility.