Addressing the Importance of Data

Flags of member nations flying at United Nations Headquarters. 30/Dec/2005. UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto. www.unmultimedia.org/photo/
Flags of member nations flying at United Nations Headquarters. UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto. www.unmultimedia.org/photo/

In April, MPC Director of Data Integration Matt Sobek was invited to speak at an event for the United Nations’ 49th Session of the Commission on Population and Development. The special session, “The Data Revolution in Action: National and International Experiences with Microdata Dissemination and Public Use,” was created to show attendees examples of national and international organizations distributing data for public use.

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Getting More from the Data: The IHIS Data Briefs

Photo: UFV:G.W. Graham
Photo: UFV:G.W. Graham

A year ago, the MPC’s Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS) project launched their IHIS Data Briefs. IHIS offers an integrated version of the National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS). “The data briefs were a natural fit for the NHIS data,” says Julia Rivera Drew, co-principal investigator of IHIS and co-author of the Data Briefs. “We realized that there were great resources that were going underutilized in NHIS and this provided a way to let users know the contents of the database. The briefs allow us to introduce topics that our users may have been interested in, but didn’t know we covered.” The briefs have also helped Drew and her colleagues reach out to new kinds of users.

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New Features in NHGIS Help Visualize Available Data

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NHGIS recently launched a pair of web maps highlighting the available GIS files and striking changes in boundaries over time for two popular geographic levels. The ‘Census Tract’ map displays data for years 1910 to 2014, and the ‘Place’ map depicts data for 1980 to 2014. With each year listed as a separate layer, users can easily toggle specific years on and off to visualize the data.

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