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How To Use Health Maps Wales

Click on a menu item on the left to jump to the respective section.

Geographic Areas

Health Maps Wales is based on Welsh resident data with defined geographic boundaries. Health Maps Wales geographies include:-

Local Health Board of Residence (LHBs): Local Health Boards of residence are the Welsh Local Health Boards created under NHS reforms (effective as of 1st October 2009). Each Health Board provides both Primary and Secondary care services to their residents. Electoral Divisions, LSOA's, MSOA's, USOA's and local authorities are all nested within the Health Board boundaries.

Local Authorities (LA): Local Authorities are responsible for all local government functions within its area. There are 22 Local Authorities in Wales. Electoral Divisions, LSOA's, MSOA's, USOA's are all nested within the local authority boundaries.

Upper Super Output Areas (USOA): USOAs are the upper layer of the statistical geographies based on the 2011 census. USOAs have an approximate average population of 31,000 people. In Wales there are 94 2011 Census USOAs and they are nested within the local authority boundaries.

Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOA): MSOAs are the middle layer of the statistical geographies based on the 2011 census. MSOAs have an approximate average population of 7,000 people and contain between 2,000 and 6,000 households. In Wales there are 410 2011 Census MSOAs and they are nested within the local authority and Upper Super Output Area boundaries

Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOA): LSOA's are the lower layer in the statistical geographies based on the 2011 census. LSOAs have an approximate average population of 1,500 people and contain between 400 and 1,200 households. In Wales, there are 1,909 2011 Census LSOAs and they are nested within the local authority and MSOA boundaries.

For more information on the Geographies of Wales, visit Office for National Statistics (ONS) Geography Portal. Also, Public Health Wales Observatory have an Interactive Atlas of the Geographies of Wales with a good metadata section, The Geographies of Wales.

Accessing the Data

To access the data from the Home page, click on the Explore Data button.

Click onto the data theme that you would like to explore e.g. Cancer, this will reveal a list of all the dataviews that are available e.g.Cancer Mortality, Cancer Incidence.

Once you have accessed the dataview you can opt to view a Map Report by clicking on the View Map Report button, or view the data as a Table, or export the data in XML, Excel or CSV format.

Tables and Exports

Tabular data can be explored by geographic area. Click on the Table button under the geographic area that you would like to view, this will open a menu with the available data. Select the data items that you would like to view by clciking on the checkboxes.

Folder icons allow you to select dates or show numerators/limits to display any associated values in the data.

There is an Instructions tab available which gives guidance to using the data tables.

Once you have accessed the table you can opt to export the data in XML, Excel or CSV format using the buttons located at the top of the data table.

Custom Analysis

Health Maps Wales data can be accessed freely without registration, but becoming a Health Maps Wales member provides access to 'Custom Analysis' and members become part of the e-mail distribution list which will keep them up to date with regular data releases. The custom analysis area allows users access to all available indicators via a report creation wizard, enabling them to create their own map reports, tables and correlation plots where indicators can be plotted against each other to investigate relationships. Users are able to save their 'favourite' geographic areas, indicators and reports for use in future sessions.

Find My Area

Find my Area can be used to determine which statistical and administrative geographies a given postcode lies within. Click on to the Find My Area tab at the top of the home page and enter a postcode to return the area information. The area ‘name’ returned for each area type can then be used to find local information within the maps and tables.

Resources

The resources area provides links to a number of websites which can be used to access useful information relating to the Health Maps Wales data and website. Click on the Resources tab at the top of the home page and then select a theme. A menu displaying the resources available will appear. Click onto a resource to be linked to the relevant website.

Report Types (Maps)

There are currently three types of interactive report in Health Maps Wales: Map Reports (which can be single geography or multiple geography), Correlate Indicator Reports and Categoric Map Reports.

Map Reports: display the data as an interactive map, data table, time series chart and an area comparison bar chart and are useful for comparing indicators across geographical areas and trend analysis.

Correlate Indicator Reports: investigate relationships between two indicators by plotting them on a scatter plot and calculating a correlation coefficient. Data tables and maps are also available for each indicator.

Categoric Map Report: This map report includes only a large map and corresponding data table providing a simple visual display of the categoric data.

Map Reports: Indicator

The indicator being displayed appears at the top of the map window. It is displays the theme indicator, time period and also includes any filter that you have applied to the data.

Map Reports: Buttons

Data Button: Click this button to display the available theme(s), indicator(s) and time period(s) in the Data Explorer.

Filter Button: Click this button to display the available filters in the Filter Explorer. If there are no filters in the report this button will not be available.

Geography Button: Click this button to display the available geographies for the base geography. If there is only one base geography in the report this button will not be available.

Map Reports: Menu Bar

Help: Click this link to access a help document.

Print/Share: Click this link to open a pop-up window which allows you to save, print or share this report either via email or by embedding it into your own website. To save/print the report, right click the thumbnail. Select save image to save the report (as a png or jpeg), and to print, select view image and hit print in your browser. To improve the print output, switch to landscape and/or shrink-to-fit-page. To share the report via email simply copy and paste the displayed link into the email text. To embed the report into your website, you can copy the displayed embed code and paste it into your website source code.

Map Reports: Components

All components of the report (except the Time Animation and the Menu Bar) have a maximise button on the top right hand corner that becomes visible when you hover over the component. Click this button to see a full screen view of the component. In this view the maximise button changes to a restore down button which allows you to restore the component again to its original size and location.

Components that are formatted as a pop-up window will also show a close button next to the maximise button.

Some components such as the map, tables and charts also have an export button next to the maximise button. For the map and charts this button will open the map or chart graphic (the map without background layers) as an image in a new tab/window of your browser. From there you can save the image through the right-click menu. For the tables the export button opens a new browser tab/window showing you the table content in CSV format. If you have made a selection, only the selected features will appear in the CSV export.

The Legend has an additional button showing a cogwheel icon which when clicked opens the Legend Editor dialog.

Map Reports: Data Explorer

The Data Explorer lists the available themes, indicators and time periods. Click theme and indicator names to expand or collapse them. Click a time period or an indicator without a time period to load new data.

Map Reports: Filter Explorer

The Filter Explorer lists any available filter. Click on a filter name to see the filter values. Clicking a filter value will filter the report so that only geographic features with the selected filter value are prominent. The map will zoom to the filtered area. To return the map to its original extent click on the Zoom Full button.

Once a filter is applied, a red cross appears next to the filter value. Clicking on this filter value again clears the filter.

Map Reports: Geography Explorer

The Geography Explorer lists any available base geography. If you choose a different geography, all components of the report will update to display the data of the selected geography.

Map Reports: Data Table

Select Features: Click on a table row to select the feature. The row of the selected feature will be shaded light red. The map will zoom to the geographic feature selected. Click on further rows to add those features to the selection. Click on a selected row again to deselect the feature.

Sort Columns: Click will sort a column header to sort the table ascending/descending. Note that the Name column and the Indicator column of categoric indicators will sort alphabetically while the Indicator column of numeric indicators numerically. Associate values (typically shown in columns to the right of indicator values) always sort as if they were numbers unless the administrator has defined otherwise.

Legend Colours: By default there are small circles in front of the feature names shaded in the colour of the class which the data value of this area is within in the legend. This helps to get a better visual impression of the data.

Notes Icon: If notes icons appear in front of the feature names, you can click on one of the icons to link to external resources with further information about the feature.

Table Footer: The table footer contains a 'Clear' button and a 'Filter' button. Both buttons become active once one or more features are selected.

Clear Button: Click the 'Clear' button to clear the current selection.

Filter Button: The 'Filter' button allows you to create a filter out of the currently selected features. Once a filter is applied the filter button will show a red cross. Clicking on the button again will remove the filter.

Scroll: A vertical scroll bar will be available if data cannot be viewed within the table dimensions.

Map Reports: Map

Shading: Geographic features are shaded based on values in the data table according to the map legend.

Select Features: Click on a geographic feature in the map to select it. The border of the selected feature will be highlighted red. Click on further features to add them to the selection. Click on a selected feature again to deselect it. Clicking on the map background will clear the selection.

Tooltip: Hold your mouse pointer over a map feature to display a tooltip with the geographic feature name and value.

Map Toolbar: The map toolbar appears once you hover with the mouse over the map. It contains buttons for zooming, a 'Clear' and a 'Filter' button. The latter two become active once one or more features are selected.

Zooming: Use the '+' and '-' buttons at the top of the map to zoom in and out. Alternatively you can also use the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out of the map. Click the zoom full icon to zoom back to full extent.

Clear Button: Click the 'Clear' button to clear the current selection.

Filter Button: The 'Filter' button allows you to create a filter out of the currently selected features. Once a filter is applied the filter button will show a red cross. Clicking on the button again will remove the filter.

Map Reports: Bar Chart

Bars for Numeric Indicators: For numeric indicator values there is a bar representing each geographic feature listed in the data table. The height of the bars is proportional to the values in the data table. Bars are displayed in the order of the indicator values and the shading is linked to the legend.

Bars for Categoric Indicators: For categoric indicators there is a bar for each category listed in the legend. The height of the bars represents the number of features within that category. The shading of the bars is linked to the legend.

Select Features: Click a bar to select the corresponding geographic feature. A selected bar will be highlighted with a red border. Click on further bars to add them to the selection. Click on a selected bar again to deselect it. Clicking on the bar chart background will clear the selection.

Error Bars: The bar chart may display error bars representing the lower and upper confidence limits associated with indicator values. These give an indication of whether the differences between indicator values are statistically significant.

Comparison Values: The bar chart can display values for comparison geographies as well as features in the base geography. Values for comparison geographies are shown using a horizontal line across the chart (the line will be vertical if the administrator has configured the bar chart to show horizontal bars).

Tooltip: Hold your mouse pointer over a bar to display a tooltip with the geographic feature name and value. It might also show the lower and upper confidence limit values of error bars.

Map Reports: Area Breakdown Bar Chart

Depending on the configuration, the area breakdown bar chart either shows indicator data of the selected theme or associate data of the selected indicator. Click a geographic feature in the map, data table or bar chart to view bars which represent the data values of the indicators or associates. Unless the administrator deactivated it, you will be able to compare data values of two or more geographic features side by side. Each geographic feature will be displayed with a unique colour which is linked to the Selected Features Legend.

Tooltip: Hold your mouse over a bar to display a tooltip with the selected area, the name and the value of the indicator/associate.

Map Reports: Time Series Chart

Trends: The time series chart shows change in indicator values over time. Hold your mouse over a geographic feature in the map, data table or bar chart to view a trend in the time series chart. Click a feature in the map, data table or bar chart to select it and freeze the trend in the time series chart.

Comparison Trends: The time series chart may display trends for comparison geographies.

Tooltip: Hold your mouse pointer over the points for any frozen trend in the time series chart to display a tooltip with geographic feature name, the time period and value.

Discrete Time Series Chart: A variation of the time series chart is to show the time series not as trend lines but as bars for each time period.

Map Reports: Legend

Selecting and Highlighting: Click a class to select the geographic features that fall within that class. Hold your mouse pointer over a feature in the map, table or charts to highlight the legend class which the geographic feature falls in.

Legend Settings: The legend can be controlled by clicking on the 'cogwheel' icon that appears in the top right hand corner of the component when you hover over the legend. This will open the Legend Settings dialogue box. The items available in the legend settings depend on the type of indicator (numeric or categoric), the geography type of the base geography layer (polygons, lines or points) and the selected legend classification.

Palette: You can change the colour palette used to shade geographic features in the map by clicking on a new palette.

Reverse Palette: For numeric indicators the legend settings include a button with two arrows, one pointing up and one pointing down. By clicking this button box you can reverse the colour palette used to shade geographic features in the map.

No. Classes: For numeric indicators the legend settings include a '+' and a '-' button. By clicking these you can increase or decrease the number of classes. If the legend classification is either 'Continuous' or 'Standard Deviation', these buttons will not be available.

Min Point Size / Min Line Width: If the data in your dynamic report is being displayed as proportional points or lines, the legend settings will include '+' and '-' buttons to change the minimum point size or the minimum line width.

Max Point Size / Max Line Width: If the data in your dynamic report is being displayed as proportional points or lines, the legend settings will include '+' and '-' buttons to change the maximum point size or the maximum line width.

Classifiers: For numeric indicators the legend settings include an option to select different classifiers. The selected classification method will decide how the ranges are calculated.

Equal Interval: The intervals between class breaks are equal. Class breaks are calculated on-the-fly and will update if you change the number of classes. Geographic features in the same class are given the same shade. The advantage of the equal-interval classification is that many map users will find it simple to understand. However, a disadvantage is that only the minimum and maximum data values are used when determining class breaks for the intervals (rather than the way the data is spread).

Quantile: Each class in the legend contains an approximately equal number of geographic features. Class breaks are calculated on-the-fly and will update if you change the number of classes. Geographic features in the same class are given the same shade. Two advantages of the quantile classification are that it is appropriate for ordinal data (as data are rank-ordered) and that it can help make map comparisons (assuming that the same number of classifications is used for all maps). A disadvantage of the quantile classification is that it does not consider how the data are distributed. If the data distribution is highly skewed, data observations will be forced into the same class (either the lowest or highest) where this may not be appropriate. As a result, the quantile classification may give a false impression that there is a relatively normal data distribution.

Natural Breaks: This classification method is also known as Optimal Breaks and Jenks Method. Class breaks are calculated on-the-fly and will update if you change the number of classes. Data are assigned to classes based upon their position along the data distribution relative to all other data values. An iterative algorithm is used to assign values to classes such that the variances within all classes are minimised whereas the variances among classes are maximised. The advantage of this classification is that the data distribution is explicitly considered for determining class breaks. However, the disadvantage is that map users may not understand the classification method used and that class breaks may not be immediately intuitive.

Continuous: Each geographic feature is shaded a different shade using a continuous scale. This legend type is useful for identifying extremely high or low values. Where an indicator has only a small number of unique data values (say 5 or less) this may be the most appropriate legend type to apply.

Standard Deviation: Class breaks reflect the number of standard deviations from the data average (or mean). Geographic features are classified according to how many standard deviations above or below the average their indicator value falls. Geographic features in the same class are given the same shade. You cannot change the number of classes for this legend type.

Map Reports: Map Layers

Click the check box next to the base layer name to toggle the base geography on / off. Contextual geographies and background images have been included and can also be toggled on or off using the check boxes in the map layers box. Background images are "scale dependent" - they may turn on or off as you zoom into or out of the map. Note that images may not be visible at full map extent and you may need to zoom to a smaller area for them to appear. Depending on how the report has been configured, it may take some time for background images to appear.

Map Reports: Comparison Geographies Table

This table lists any comparison geographies that have been included in the report. Comparison values are displayed as lines in the bar chart and time series chart when you hold your mouse pointer over a comparison geography name and will freeze when the comparison geography is selected.

Map Reports: Time Animation

The time animation component can be used to view how indicators change over time. You can click on one of the time periods to change the date that is currently displayed. You can also use the left and right arrow buttons to step through each date, or click the "play" (triangle) button to cycle through all the available dates for the currently selected indicator. You can stop the animation by clicking on the stop button.

Map Reports: Scatter Plot

The scatter plot displays the relationship between data for two different indicators or time periods. Read the axis labels to see which data are being plotted. Hold your mouse pointer over a dot in the scatter plot to display a tooltip with the name and values of the geographic feature it relates to. The report displays a correlation coefficient, line of best fit and an equation for this line. The correlation coefficient is Pearson's Product Moment Coefficient.

Map Reports: Screen Captures

As well as printing the report or exporting individual components, you can capture an Health Maps Wales report as a screen grab. Make sure the graphics are as large as possible and then hold down Ctrl-Alt-Prnt Scrn on your keyboard. Open another application, such as Word or PowerPoint, and paste (hold down Ctrl-V on your keyboard) the screen grab. You can then edit the graphics (crop, resize, sharpen, etc.) as required.

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