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Maps to inform intersectoral planning and action

Mapping health indicators provides a visual display of geography linked with the social determinants of health (SDH) and can graphically illustrate areas and populations at risk, indicating where action is needed at the local level. Collaborative actions across sectors and the integration of information systems can support increased capacity to use evidence to inform planning and reduce duplication of efforts.

Maps to Inform Intersectoral Planning and Action is a technical report based on research commissioned by the Canadian Council on Social Determinants of Health (CCSDH). The report highlights the potential role of mapping technologies to support action on the SDH and health equity. Three different approaches to mapping data are highlighted, including geospatial data infrastructure, web mapping, and geographic information systems, while two case studies illustrate the use of these technologies. Espace Montréalais d’information sur la santé (EMIS) supports health surveillance, planning, and evaluation and disseminates data on population health and health services to inform a number of initiatives including policy design and action at the local level. Community View Collaboration (CVC) is a regional community information system that includes user-friendly tools to facilitate data sharing among jurisdictions through two levels of data access (partner and public) based on an SDH conceptual model. 

Increased availability and utility of data can improve an organization’s ability to plan, manage programs and services, and target programs. However, mapping data is not enough; mapping technologies must meet user needs and engage stakeholders in a meaningful way in the development and maintenance of systems throughout all phases.

Use this resource to:

  • Learn more about how mapping technology can inform public health planning
  • Consider ways to improve the usability and applicability of current mapping technologies in use by your organization
  • Facilitate a discussion about the ways that data sharing and mapping tools can contribute to evidence-based decisions for intersectoral action


Canadian Council on Social Determinants of Health. (2014). Maps to inform intersectoral planning and action. Retrieved from

Maps to inform intersectoral planning and action: A summary

Tags: Assess and report, Evaluation, Intersectoral action, Knowledge translation , Public health unit / health authority

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