How Torbay Council is helping partner organisations to understand and use JSNA data through interactive mapping


Torbay Council has created a website bringing together knowledge and intelligence from different perspectives (such as the local authority which serves the resident population of Torbay and the Clinical Commissioning Group which serves the GP registered population of South Devon and Torbay). This enables a wider understanding of the needs of the population within the South Devon and Torbay community. InstantAtlas interactive mapping software was used to display intelligence which forms part of a wider Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) for South Devon and Torbay.

Read the full article

Roanoke Council of Community Services and a new online platform that brings life to community indicators through data presentation


The Roanoke Council of Community Services was set up in 1960 to aid the planning of community services in Roanoke Valley. Its vision is to establish a community where organizations are able to work collaboratively to increase social wealth, provide greater access to resources, reduce redundancy and focus on human potential as the drivers for economic development and individual well-being. The Council has three areas of activity. First it acts as the central hub for identifying community needs and developing solutions to address these needs. Second it serves as a central clearinghouse, or gateway, connecting individuals in the community to programmes that are best suited to address their needs and third the Council serves as a launching pad for developing new programmes to meet community needs.

We spoke to Dan Meranda, Vice President of Planning & Consultation at the Council about data visualization and how it is being used to provide community organizations with timely insight about the local community. Dan explains that the Council put a lot of effort into establishing which indicators could be used to develop a picture of trends over time.

Read the full article

IA Tools Enhance JCCI’s Data Analysis Capacities

Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) began using Instant Atlas to display its Quality of Life Progress Report community indicators in September of 2009. For the first 18 months, we used the Single Map Template to show approximately 125 indicators, many of them stretching back over 25 years, in a way that was revolutionary for our community.  People throughout our community, from policy-makers to grant writers to community advocates, appreciated the ease and clarity with which they could get the data they needed.  On our part, we appreciated the freedom from the constraints of the printed report, allowing us to update information as soon as it was released (often beating the local newspaper to the publication of new data.)

Beginning last month, we decided to see how our community would react to seeing some of the other tools Instant Atlas has to offer. When we used the Double Map Template and began playing with the scatterplot tools, we started to see interesting (and sometimes unexpected) correlations that we could verify over time. In fact, the use of this template helped provide a definitive answer if one of our indicators truly was still a significant and useful measure today. (It was, much more than anticipated.)

If the scatterplot tool, allowing comparisons between two indicators, revealed such interesting information, we wondered what the Bubble Plot Template might show? Once we began examining relationships among four indicators at the same time, we began to see targeted opportunities for additional research and policy direction. For example, when examining high school graduation rates, we found school districts that were overperforming in relation to the social and economic conditions within the district, and other districts that were underperforming – including districts with a reputation for excellence.  Suddenly, we were able to bring together useful information in a compelling visual display with the ability to reshape community conversations around priorities and policies – and the data is available for anyone in our community to check for themselves.

You can see how we’re using Instant Atlas at

Pinellas County ‘How a small team is helping stakeholders get a better understanding of the community and the impact of interventions through data visualization’

Pinellas County, on Florida’s West Coast, is a 280-square mile peninsula bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. The Health and Human Services Coordinating Council for Pinellas County works with funders and providers across the community to develop a human service system for citizens that provides seamless, high-quality care based on the best use of available resources.


The Council has developed a website ( that provides timely access to statistics and dynamic data visualization. The website is sponsored by Pinellas County and the Juvenile Welfare Board: The Children’s Service Council of Pinellas County.

Joe Baldwin is the Senior Researcher/Planner for the Council. We spoke to him to find out how the website is helping to meet the Council’s objectives and how it all started. Joe explains that the initial step was to bring stakeholders from health and human services agencies together to develop specifications. A guiding principle developed early on was that the system had to meet the needs of three groups: residents, elected officials and community leaders.


Getting started

Residents wanted a better understanding of the quality of life in Pinellas County and to discover whether agencies’ efforts were having an impact. Elected officials wanted information about their constituencies and to be able to make data-driven decisions. Community leaders wanted to be able to monitor indicators that were important to their individual organizations.

Joe was already familiar with InstantAtlas but found out about the server version at a Community Indicators Consortium conference in Washington. He realised that this version was more suitable for the Council’s needs. “We are by comparison to other community indicator initiatives a small team,” says Joe.

Making the project work

“There were some challenges when it came to getting the system up and running but the support staff at GeoWise were very supportive. Once the initial leg work and the indicators were set up the team realised the extent of the efficiency gain.”

“The Health and Human Services Coordinating Council for Pinellas County was created by an interlocal agreement between funders, and it supports the efforts of many health and human service agencies working together to effect positive change in the community. This means a data presentation tool like this has to be highly collaborative. We have a data committee that is working to develop shared responsibility for the quality of the data and avoiding duplication of effort,” says Joe.

Read more here >>>

Community Resources Council, Topeka – Kansas

The Community Resources Council, Topeka is a non-profit community agency founded in 1925. It plays an active part in the growth of Topeka/Shawnee County. From publishing the Community Resources Directory, to working with coalitions to better the quality of life, to publishing & updating the Shawnee County Progress Report, CRC strives to bring government, social services, and businesses together. CRC’s mission is to connect the resources in the community through research, information, advocacy, and collaboration.

Information is therefore at the core of CRC’s activities and in 2009 according to CRC’s executive director Nancy Johnson, there was a growing need to keep up with developments in data presentation. Having seen how Jacksonville Community Council was using data presentation to make its community indicators available in an easy-to-digest format, she decided to try the same approach.

Getting started

Nancy made contact with InstantAtlas and her initial concerns about cost were laid to rest. She became convinced that it was the right data presentation tool for CRC. The board agreed and decided to buy InstantAtlas. Making the entire 2009 CRC Progress Report available online as an interactive report was the first project.

The purpose of The Progress Report is to provide useful information to gauge quality of life in Shawnee County. It provides information to businesses, governments and other organizations to assess the condition of the community. This information is intended to be used by anyone wanting to plan for the future.

The challenge for Nancy was that, as a relatively small organisation with just four members of staff, a great deal of work would be involved. It took longer than anticipated to set up the templates but now they have been created, loading additional data has become very straightforward. Nancy says that feedback from the team at the CRC has certainly been positive.

Read the full story here >>

Other stories that may interest you

Jacksonville Community Council Inc.

“InstantAtlas maps help our community users see where resources need to be targeted to help reduce inequalities”.
Interview with Ben Warner, Deputy Director – JCCI

Read the article

or Listen to Ben Warner’s Webinar with InstantAtlas – click here (streaming video)

Credit –

Welcome to this month’s edition of the InstantAtlas E-Bulletin

In this month’s edition we focus on UK Local Government and International Public Health with reports from Yorkshire Futures, Nottingham City Council, Louisiana Department of Health and LIGA in Germany.


  • 1.1  Yorkshire Futures | Progress in the Region Live (PiRLive) New Updates
  • 1.2 Perth and Kinross Council, UK | State of the Environment Reports
  • 1.3 London Health Observatory | Sport and Activity Planning Tool
  • 1.4 Nottingham City Councill | Nottingham Insight migration with InstantAtlas Server
  • 1.5 Louisiana Department of Health, USA | New IA 6 Live reports
  • 1.6 Landesinstitut für Gesundheit und Arbeit Nordrhein-Westfalen (LIGA), Germany | New IA 6 Reports


  • 2.1 Formation of LIS User Group announced | hosted by Wigan Borough Council
  • 2.2  Jacksonville Community Council Inc. | Community Indicator Webinar
  • 2.3 Where to see InstantAtlas in action | UK and International event schedule
  • 2.4 US Community Health Case Study (PDF) | Health Planning Council of North East Florida [HPCNEF]
  • 2.5 Twitter authors | Technology Editor, Charles Arthur | Tech for Transparency
  • 2.6 Map and report data with InstantAtlas | review\z
  • 2.7 InstantAtlas Training Courses
  • 2.8 New customers of InstantAtlas

Client News

1.1 Yorkshire Futures | PiRLive site update

PiRLive | SingleMap Report - Click to View

Yorkshire Futures (YF) is the Regional Intelligence Network for Yorkshire and Humber. Its role is to provide data, information and intelligence to support and inform regional strategy and policy. Yorkshire Futures recently updated its Progress in the Region Live (PiRLive) site with the latest regional data. Accompanying the update is a new improved look to PiRLive which matches the parent website. Yorkshire Futures worked with InstantAtlas to rebrand PiRLive in keeping with the look and feel of the new Yorkshire Futures website and have also upgraded to the latest version of InstantAtlas V6.3.

Amanda Crossfield, Data & Development Executive of YF says: “We have used InstantAtlas to create dynamic online maps known as Progress in the Region Live, which show how our region is performing against a suite of high level indicators including economic, environmental, educational and social data. You can see how Yorkshire and the Humber, its sub regions and its local authorities are doing compared to the regional and national average, and look at trends over time.”

With PiRLive you can download the datasets in Excel format, or print out the maps for use in your reports and presentations.

Progress in the Region Live can be used to:

  • see how the region and local authorities are doing against key indicators
  • look at trends over time
  • compare two indicators against each other
  • compare the region to the national average
  • compare local authority to the regional, subregional and the national average
  • annotate and print maps
  • download the indicator data in Excel format

1.2 Perth and Kinross Council  | New State of the Environment InstantAtlas Reports

Perth and Kinross Council | State of the Environment

State of the Environment Mapping is an interactive map that allows you to see at a glance how Perth and Kinross areas (e.g. ward, intermediate geographies) are doing compared to other areas and the regional average.

It provides information about the Perth and Kinross environment and community, including information on how clean the air is, what areas are susceptible to flooding and how many citizens are able to easily catch a bus from home.

State of the Environment Mapping can be used to:

  • see how areas and local authority are performing against key indicators
  • compare areas to other areas and the regional average
  • look at trends over time
  • print or download graphs, tables and maps for own use
  • download the indicator data in an Excel or PDF format

To launch State of the Environment Mapping please click here.

Perth & Kinross also provide a general help guide [PDF 207Kb] which can be downloaded to assist  you in navigating the mapping website.
Alternatively, you can download summaries for individual indicators by following the links.

1.3 London Health Observatory  | Sport and Activity Planning Tool

New online interactive tool using InstantAtlas Server for people involved in sport and activity to help them plan their marketing much more effectively without the need of a GIS specialist.

London Health Observatory | Sport and Activity Planning Tool

The Sport and Activity planning tool has been developed by the London Health Observatory (LHO) and Make Sport Fun for the Department of Health and NHS partners. It is based on Sport England’s proprietary Market Segmentation tool which helps organisations target new sport and physical activity opportunities in communities where they are needed most.

This planning tool allows you to quickly and easily map where people who are interested in playing different sports live in your borough. It also allows you to see where any of the 19 sporting segments live. This means that you can now plan and target marketing much more quickly, cheaply and easily.

The tool uses data from the multi-million pound Active People survey, Taking Part survey and Experian’s mosaic tool, and was built by the London Health Observatory, using the InstantAtlas Server product.

LHO | Introductory Tour - Video

The sport and activity planning tool is available to public sector and not-for-profit organisations in accordance with the raw data usage policy for Sport England’s Market Segmentation tool.

Currently access to the planning tool for general public use is password protected, however please click on the image to view a video overview of the tool.

1.4 Nottingham City Council  | Nottingham Insight, preparing for the future with its migration from InstantAtlas Desktop to Server

Nottingham Insight (previously known as NOMAD+) is a shared evidence base that provides access to data, information and intelligence about Nottingham and the surrounding area.

This partnership system aims to improve decision-making, support partnership working and secure a better future for its citizens.  However, the Nottingham team quickly realised it had to address some fundamental issues in the delivery of shared intelligence between partner organisations. The existing bespoke system required high maintenance and development time with technical staff needing to support all parts of process. Data loading was resource hungry and difficult to keep up-to-date and the user interface was deemed not intuitive – and click heavy.

Moving to InstantAtlas Server brought many advantages for the team, many of them already had  experience with the desktop product, which they liked.  InstantAtlas Server also allowed the team to utilise OCSI Data Packs, which provided them regular data refreshes plus Server provided access to Area Profiler Tools, Widgets and Web Services.

“We selected InstantAtlas Server for ease of creating neighbourhood maps and graphs, intuitive ease-of-use, speed of operation, affordability and expected ease of implementation and integration with the council’s ESRI tool-set.” Mick Dunn, Shared Intelligence Manager | Nottingham City Council

Nottingham Insight | shared evidence base that provides access to data, information and intelligence about Nottingham and the surrounding area

About Nottingham Insight

Hosted resources including data, analysis, mapping, reports, policy and other documents, aim to benefit local authorities, partner organisations and all people interested in the growth and development of Nottingham and the surrounding area.

Key facts and figures relating to Nottingham and its communities, can readily be utilised for:

• Service and project planning

• Informing policy formulation

• Providing an evidence base for strategic decisions

• Promoting and marketing services

• Informing commissioning decisions

• Providing accessible resources to organisations involved in tendering processes

• Providing at a glance summaries and profiles for the Nottingham area

• Helping audit inspectors to easily locate the information they require

1.5 Louisiana Department of Health, USA | New InstantAtlas 6 BRFSS reports published

Louisiana Dept of Health | BRFSS IA Reports

The Chronic Disease Prevention Control Unit in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has just published its latest 2006-08 behavioural risk factor survey results at parish level.  This report aggregates 3 years of data for each of 64 parishes on 14 key health indicators. Themes span physical and mental health status, chronic disease and healthcare.

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is one of 20 U.S. state departments of health that have included InstantAtlas in its online data dissemination strategy.

1.6 Landesinstitut für Gesundheit und Arbeit Nordrhein-Westfalen (LIGA), Germany | New InstantAtlas 6 district and town profiles covering North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)

The new reports cover 54 districts and towns (which are similar to English county boroughs) in NRW are compared using 16 indicators which focus on socio-demographic factors, health, and health behaviour.

To view examples of the indicator reports, please click on the following images (please note reports are in German only):

Comparison of district profiles

All 16 indicators are displayed and compared in a profile view. A bar chart shows for each indicator individually the value discrepancy between the chosen district and the federal average. Moreover, a second district can be added as a comparison variable. Maps, tables and an additional graph visualize at the same time the indicator value across all 54 districts.

Funnel Plot: infant mortality

This funnel plot is a useful way of putting apparent spatial patterns seen on a map into a more realistic perspective.  The graph shows the infant mortality rates in relation to the number of births in each district. Each dot represents a district. In statistical terms, all districts plotted between the green or blue lines  (respectively 95% and 99% confidence limits) should not be considered significantly different from the regional mean (red line), regardless of what the map suggests visually.  District variations from the average rate of infant deaths for the region may be purely accidental or unreliable due to the small number of cases. There is also a thematic map, a bar graph and a table. By using the mouse, districts can be chosen simultaneously in all four graphics.

Resources & News

2.1 LIS Usergroup for Northern England announced  – hosted by Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

Following on from the very successful LIS workshops hosted by InstantAtlas in February, delegates at the events have started to work together in organising thier first meeting to work on LIS projects and discuss what they want and have been able to do with the InstantAtlas products to aid LIS development

Jonathan Caunce, Intelligence Analyst of Wigan MBC (Hosts of the North LIS workshop) envisaged the group being a kind of ‘open forum‘ for discussion on the LIS agenda, but with a focus specifically around the InstantAtlas product that members are all currently using / looking to use. Jonathan comments “From the discussions at the recent workshop it appeared the consensus was that delegates wanted the group to be informal with a primary focus on problem solving rather than a high-level LIS agenda as a whole.”

Wigan MBC have proposed a first meeting date for 2pm on Tuesday 27 April in Wigan for an initial meeting of the InstantAtlas LIS User Group?

If you would like to attend or suggest particular LIS topics please contact Jonathan directly

2.1 Jacksonville Community Council Inc.  – Community Indicator Webinar, hosted by InstantAtlas

“Learn and discover how Jacksonville Community Council Inc. employed InstantAtlas to support their Community Snapshot Project and the development of community intelligence across the County.”

On April the 1st  Geowise hosted a live webcast presented by our guest speaker Ben Warner, Deputy Director of Jacksonville Community Council Inc.

Ben’s presentation showed how InstantAtlas has been employed within their organization and highlighted the benefits JCCI gained in using the application. Ben discussed the new Community Snapshot project and presented some indicator examples of their online InstantAtlas 6 reports for Jacksonville/Duval County.

Click here to view Webinar

2.2 Where to see InstantAtlas in action – upcoming events

  1. North America – 44th National Immunization Conference – 19TH April, Hyatt Regency – Atlanta, Georgia
    Link to the site:
  2. NAACCR – Annual Conference 2010 –22nd – 24th June, Quebec, Canada
    Renewed Collaboration: A Modern Paradigm for Cancer Surveillance”
    Link to the site:

2.3 US Community Health Case Study

The Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida (HPC) has been addressing the healthcare needs of Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns, and Volusia counties (Region 4) for more than 40 years under a variety of federal, state, and local health planning initiatives. It strives to meet Florida’s healthcare challenges through planning, research and evaluation initiatives that target local healthcare needs and affect health policy. Download PDF Case Study for more details

2.4 Recommended Twitter Authors

In this month’s edition we recommend two authors and organisations who we feel bring real value to the development of online data mapping and technology solutions.This is not a one way street by any means, if you follow any Twitter authors who you think would be of interest to others just let us know, we’ll be happy to add them in the next InstantAtlas bulletin.

  • Charles Arthur | Technology Editor, Guardian UK | No. of followers 11,390 | Bio The Guardian’s Technology editor. Posting the news, chasing the news on Apple, Google etc. What you got? – Follow Charles
  • TechForTransparency | No. of followers 461 | The Technology for Transparency Network, an initiative of @globalvoices to map transparency, accountability, and civic engagement projects worldwide. – Follow techtransparent

2.5 Map and report data with InstantAtlas – Review by

You may already know that everyone is talking about transparency and  many organizations want to do more than just post a bunch of spreadsheets. They actually want to visualize it and share their data in a way that can be consumed by the general public. InstantAtlas aims to make that easy – without any code. – Read More

2.6 InstantAtlas classroom training courses

Why not take advantage of our special offer this spring and come along to one of our classroom training courses.
This offer applies to two of our courses based on classroom attendance at our Edinburgh office.

Choose from the following options:

InstantAtlas Desktop Foundation Course

This course is for users with no previous (or limited) experience of InstantAtlas Desktop Edition, or somebody who having used the product wishes to refresh their knowledge.

InstantAtlas Desktop Advanced Course

This course is for users who are already competent in the use of InstantAtlas and wish to address advanced features of the product. If you have taken the InstantAtlas Foundation Training Course you will have the knowledge required to attend this course.

Dates for the next Two Day Course

April – Wednesday 21st & Thursday 22nd

Location – GeoWise Edinburgh Office

Can’t make these dates? –

See our online Calendar for alternative dates and book today

2.7 New customers of InstantAtlas

UK Desktop clients

Locus GIS

Northampton Drug & Alcohol

Borough of Poole

Eastern Cancer Registry and Information Centre (ECRIC)

Thames Cancer Registry (TCR)

Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service (NYCRIS)

National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN)

West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit (WMCIU)

Legal Services Commission

North West Cancer Intelligence Service (NWCIS)

Amber Valley Borough Council

Crofters Commission

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT

Bradford & Airdeale PCT

UK Server clients

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

South West Public Health Observatory

East Midlands Public Health Observatory

North East Public Health Observatory

North West Public Health Observatory

South East Public Health Observatory

West Midlands Public Health Observatory

London Health Observatory

Northamptonshire County Council

Suffolk County Council

Health Protection Agency South West

Staffordshire County Council

Wirral Primary Care Trust

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

Somerset County Council


Energy Action


South East Sydney and Illawarra Health


Offord Centre for Child Studies (McMaster University)


World Health Organization – Regional Office for Africa


Bremer Institut für Präventionsforschung und Sozialmedizin (Bremen Cancer Registry)

Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Bayerns (KVB)

Landeshauptstadt München, Statistisches Amt

Stadt Frankfurt, Bürgeramt, Statistik und Wahlen


Justlife, Lausanne


Alabama Department of Public Health

Altarum Institute

Arizona Department of Health Services

Center for Health Services Research and Development (East Carolina University)

Community Resources Council, Kansas

Hawaii State Department of Health

Health Planning Council of NE Florida

Illinois Criminal Justice Info Authority

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (University of Washington)

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Pinellas County Government, et al., St Petersburg, Florida

Washington State Department of Health

To get more information on InstantAtlas products and services visit today

Jacksonville Community Council Inc. | ‘How Jacksonsville County is using community indicators to target resources and reduce inequalities’

“InstantAtlas maps help our community users see where resources need to be targeted to help reduce inequalities”.

Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) was created in 1975 and its mission is to improve the quality of life and build a better community for people living in Northeast Florida and beyond. The organization is sometimes referred to as Jacksonville’s “citizen think tank”.
JCCI has been publishing annual community indicators for 25 years. These indicators help a wide range of citizens understand trends in areas such as population growth, education, work-related statistics, healthcare and housing.
Ben Warner is JCCI’s Deputy Director and he emphasizes the importance of making large amounts of data available in a timely and easy-to-understand way. “We first started out publishing the data in printed form but recognised that, for the data to be as useful as possible for as many audiences as we had, we needed a platform that too would allow us to have greater control over the way the data could be published and accessed,” he says.
JCCI began to investigate different software packages that would allow it to present the data in such a way. However, concerns were quickly raised.  “We were most concerned that we would end up with a proprietary database product and would not even own the data. We wanted something that our community would find easy to use with very few technical terms involved in manipulating the data. Above all we wanted something that we could have up and running quickly.”

Read the full article >>

To read more of this customer profile – please download the following PDF document –
Learn how to create InstantAtlas Community Health reports – watch this vide0