Designing a web-based learning portal for geographic visualization and analysis in public health

Anthony C. Robinson, Alan M. MacEachren, Robert E. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Interactive mapping and spatial analysis tools are under-utilized by health researchers and decision-makers as a result of scarce training materials, few examples demonstrating the successful use of geographic visualization, and poor mechanisms for sharing results generated by geovisualization. Here, we report on the development of the Geovisual EXplication(G-EX) Portal, a web-based application designed to connect researchers in geovisualization and related mapping sciences, to users who are working in public health and epidemiology. This paper focuses on the design and development of the G-EX Portal Learn module, a set of tools intended to disseminate learning artifacts. Initial design and development of the G-EX Portal has been guided by our past research on the use and usability of geovisualization in public health. As part of the iterative design and development process, we conducted a needs assessment survey with targeted end-users, which we report on here. The survey focused on users' current learning habits, their preferred kind of learning artifacts and issues they may have with contributing learning artifacts to web portals. Survey results showed that users desire a diverse set of learning artifacts in terms of both formats and topics covered. Results also revealed a willingness of users to contribute both learning artifacts and personal information that would help other users to evaluate the credibility of the learning artifact source. We include a detailed description of the G-EX Portal Learn module and focus on modifications to the design of the Learn module as a result from feedback we received from our survey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-208
Number of pages18
JournalHealth informatics journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics


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