http://arcg.is/1VG5CO9 Final Story map project
This map aims to highlight the disparity of life expectancy within a 5 mile radius of Richmond. The legend shows the overall averages of each county within Richmond, with red being the shortest life spans because it stands out. However, I wanted to show the exact life expectancies in areas that many Richmond students would recognize, and especially highlight the greatest and lowest life expectancy towns. “The standout spot is Gilpin Court, a large public housing project, where life expectancy is just 63, on par with Haiti.” A few Universities, the James River, and main roads were also added to this map to give it context and help the reader easily identify areas. My hope is that this map helps to facilitate conversation about why there is such a gap in life expectancy, the various factors that influence life expectancies, and how to address those factors.
I aim to map the variance in life expectancies throughout Richmond. One map that I will use for reference titled “Short Distances to Large Gaps in Health” highlights how within a five-mile distance in Richmond the difference in life expectancy is twenty years, on par with the life expectancy in Haiti. I hope to reach Richmond students to open their eyes to life so close to us, outside of campus, and how greatly the health of these people can vary. I plan to make the map more impactful through changing the layout, colors, and information. This map will be a vital tool to raise public awareness about the various factors that can affect the public’s health. This map will also highlight the disparity in health between neighborhoods due to many factors, not just health care, and will hopefully raise understanding and awareness to take steps to change the gap in health and life expectancy within Richmond. Below shows one of the current maps on this important topic, in addition to a link in the New York Times about the astounding difference in life spans.
One of the most surprising aspects of the Swiss Cheese Map article was how important every single tiny detail on a map is. Prior to this course, I never realized how influential maps can be, and that they can affect the outcome of necessary peace talks. I don’t think that most people realize anyone can make a map, but cartographers are vital to the depiction, accuracy, and presentation of those maps. It’s crazy to think how differently the outcome could have been for these two nations, had a cartographer been consulted and used the proper colors, line thickness, labels etc. knowing their audience and properly targeting them.
I’m Becca Losch, and I’m a sophomore from Monmouth County, New Jersey. I am a healthcare studies major and biology minor, currently on the physician’s assistant track. I definitely want to be in the healthcare field, however, I haven’t decided if I would prefer more of a clinical or administrative aspect within the healthcare system. I’m hoping that interning and shadowing doctors over the summer will help me to make that decision. This geography course was recently approved by Dr. Mayes to count towards the healthcare studies major, which is mainly why I looked into taking the class. Once I started to look more into the class and what we would be learning, I became much more interested in it though.
Maps and geovisualization are utilized on a regular basis and are huge tools in the healthcare field. Last semester in Dr. Mayes’ healthcare course we used various resources and maps to study distribution of disease, death and birth rates across different economic and social environments, the percentage of people who receive immunizations, the progression of obesity in our country over many years, the regression of smoking across the country, and so many more aspects of healthcare. Although looking at numbers comparing some of these topics are extremely helpful to grasp how, where, and why these aspects of healthcare vary so greatly, being able to visualize some of the disparities within healthcare across the nation is much more impactful. Epidemiology has always really interested me, especially to study and show the studies to control diseases and other health problems in various areas of the world. I never realized how often the topic of this course is used within healthcare and how greatly it is integrated throughout my everyday life. One of the areas I am most interested in the use of maps is to show how great the disparities of disease, treatment, death etc. are within different areas. The disparities within a five-mile radius in Virginia alone are astounding. The ability to show this on a map over a period of time is vital to analyze what factors are affecting those rates and if healthcare improvement efforts are making a difference or need to be adjusted.
Throughout this course, I hope to learn how to utilize some of these tools to develop maps and resources, specifically to use for aspects of healthcare. The skills learned in this course I believe can be utilized in almost every single aspect of healthcare, and are invaluable skills to know how to use regardless of which area of healthcare I choose to be involved in. This seems to be a different course than I usually take for my major and minor, but I’m extremely interested to learn more about this topic and hopefully to use the tools I learn in my future.