GeoHEALTH - Frequently Asked Questions
How to request a GeoHEALTH Platform account
The process for requesting GeoHEALTH Platform (GHP) account is automated has been simplified from the previous situational tool (MedMap) for efficient and paperless submission. There are two potential needs for a log in for the GHP. One is the account that will allow you to save your work and share it with others within groups that you are a member and the other is access to the data warehouse. Most of the data, web maps and tools will be made available to all users unless licensing or security is not open. In the case where you need to have access to restricted data or coordinate via sharing of custom maps/applications an account will be created and the username and password will be sent to you. If once you have used the GHP site and feel log-in access is required for your needs please send a request to GeoHEALTH@hhs.gov. Once your request is received we will determine what access is allowed and what data you can have access to and provide you with the appropriate account username and password. If you are not approved, you will receive an email indicating this and the reason for disapproval in case there is any miscommunication.
Most of the data available from the GeoHEALTH Platform is either open source or available to all users. Therefore NO account log-in is needed to view the data. There are some data layers that do require a log in for either licensing or access based on classification status. In these cases you will need to provide your data access account username and password that was provided to you upon approval of your request to view this data.
There are three types of access into GeoHealth.
Open data access is available for all who try to
access GeoHealth (GeoHealth.hhs.gov). The data available with no account is
data that is available to the public and has no use restrictions. This type of
data is the most common in GeoHealth and allows many users from all levels of
government and NGOs to access and use this data for their needs.
The second type of access is restricted data
access. This type of access is required for those data sets that have
limitations on access based on licensing or release restrictions. The only time
you will need to use a data access username and password is when opening a web
map or data that has a data use restriction. This is the most typical type of
account that is created. This account does NOT give you access to “Sign-In” to
the application and can only be used for accessing data.
The third type of account is application access.
This account type is the most rare and is limited to those staff within HHS or
others that require certain abilities that are only available with this
account. The determination of this account type will be based on the
information provided by the applicant and communication with the GeoHealth
Most of the web maps available from the GeoHEALTH Platform are available to all users. Therefore NO account log-in is needed to open these web maps. The need to create custom viewers and applications and share them to groups is held to a small group of users. These users are given a username and password for this ability. Most of the time the user name and password for both the application access and the data access are the same however they can be different if required.
How to load restricted data or maps
If when opening a map or adding a data layer you are prompted for a username and log in, this means you are attempting to open a data layer that is restricted for some reason. If you have the correct permissions and have been provided with an account username and password you need to enter them at this time and then the data and/or map will open and the restricted data as well as any additional open source data will display.
Can the symbols on the map be changed
If you are viewing data and need/want to change the symbology of a layer you must have the correct permissions to do this. The permissions required would allow you to log into the GeoHEALTH Platform. If you have been given an account based on your role within the Department of Health & Human Services Emergency Support Functions #6 or #8 then you’ll be able to make this change if allowed by the data owner. If you do not have an account to log into the site then you will not have this option. The log in to the site is different that the account information to log into the secure data. Although the accounts may be the same the roles that users are assigned to have access to these two locations are different.
When will training be offered
Currently we are only offering training to HHS staff and coordinating partners at this time. Training is scheduled and posted on the calendar at the bottom of the GIS Portal (https://gis.medmap.hhs.gov). If you are interested in scheduling training of the GeoHEALTH Platform please send an email to the support staff for GeoHEALTH and we will try to accommodate your request.
How do you change the display order of layers?
The option to change the display order is only available to users with a login that allows them access to the GeoHEALTH Platform. Access to the data warehouse allows users the ability to open and view the data but not to customize the map. If you have this type of account then you can use the drag and drop feature of the layer to re-order the layers if needed. To move the layer press and hold the mouse button on the left side of the layer name and the mouse should change to a 4-way arrow and allow you to drag the layer up and down with a dashed line displaying where the layer will be place once the mouse button is released. Without the proper access to the website the re-ordering of layers is not possible.
Where is the tutorial/user document?
The documents that have all of the training materials and user document on how to navigate through the GeoHEALTH Portal is being created and when complete will be stored on the GIS Portal. Links will be placed on the page as appropriate when they are available.
How do I find data?
If there isn’t a web map on the HOME page that works for the user’s needs, then there might be a need to go to the Gallery to see what is available. While in the Gallery if you want to look for a particular type of data or named data layer or map, just use the search box in the top right corner of the display. Type in the item you are looking for and if it exists it will appear in a list with a short description of the item. If one of these items is what you were looking for you can then select the open option under the graphic and the item will be displayed in a map. You may need to log in based on the restriction of the data.
How do I add data to the map?
If you are viewing a map and determine that additional data is needed to enhance the functionality of the viewing experience, use the Modify Map link at the top right corner of the display. Once this link is selected you will be allowed to use the Add function on the left side of the display. With this button you are able to add data from our data warehouse, the web or a file. If you search for data within our data warehouse you have the option to search within the map area or not and by key word. If you area adding data from the web you’ll need to know the web address of the data layer. Data that is to be loaded from a file must be either a zipped shapefile (ZIP) with up to 1000 features in it, a comma, semi-colon, or tab delimited text file (CSV or TXT), or a GPS Exchange Format (GPX). CSV and TXT with addresses can have up to 250 features.
Can I save my map?
Users with a username and password to the GeoHEALTH Platform NOT just the data warehouse have the ability to save and share their maps. Most of these users are HHS staff. Users who have data warehouse access only or have no username/password access at all do not have this capability. Sharing your map is allowed for all users.
How do I create an export map
In order to export a map from the GeoHEALTH Platform you need to have an account that allows you to log into the GeoHEALTH Platform. This is not a data warehouse account but an additional capability usually saved for HHS staff. If there is a need for you to create exported maps please let the GeoHEALTH staff know (GeoHEALTH@hhs.gov) and they will try to help you either create the required product or provide this capability to you.
If you have been granted a GeoHEALTH access account you can use this to gain the additional functionality that the site allows. The Sign In link is in the top right corner of the application next to the search window. Only HHS staff currently has the ability to log into the GeoHEALTH Platform at this time. If you were able to or were given access to the data warehouse see the section on loading restricted data.
Logging into data warehouse
If you were sent a username/password or have an existing MedMap account you can use this account information to log into the data warehouse or add restricted data to your map. This account information will only be needed when opening a web map or data layer that has a use restriction. Based on the role(s) you were assigned you will be able to open the requested data. If you attempt to open data you are not allowed to access you will not see this data in your map display once the map loads.