Interesting Datasets I Recently Learned About

Last week I spoke about my census-mapping work at two great venues: the EARL Conference in Boston and the NY Open Statistical Programming Meetup in New York. After my talks many people shared their own experiences mapping public datasets. I thought that I would pass along that information in case anyone is interested in exploring these datasets.

Epidemiology Datasets

Epidemiologists study the spread of diseases. Many epidemiologists use maps to understand their data. When talking with epidemiologists these datasets frequently came up:

  1. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
  2. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Religion Datasets

I met one researcher who studies trends in the Jewish population in America. He uses these two datasets:

  1. Pew Research Center – Religion and Public Life Datasets
  2. American Jewish Population Project – Brandeis University

Note that the US Census Bureau does not ask individuals questions about religion (1, 2).

Medical Datasets

I met with a few people who work with data on medical treatments and outcomes. They use these datasets:

  1. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Datasets
  2. CMS Hospital Compare Dataset

If you have experience with these datasets, I would be interested in learning more about your research. You can contact me here.

LC Chien says November 9, 2015

Hi, there is a reminder that BRFSS no longer provides the county variable since 2013. Now we can only draw maps by using BRFSS 2012 and earlier data.

    Ari Lamstein says November 13, 2015

    Thank you! I’m hoping spend some time digging more into epidemiology datasets soon.

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