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Visualizing survey data: disseminating results from a population health survey on HIV and AIDS in Canada

Presenter 1
Berenica Vejvoda
University of Toronto
Presenter 2
Dan Allman
University of Toronto
Presenter 3
Bharath Kashyap
University of Toronto
Presenter 4
Caroline Godbout
University of Toronto

Effective knowledge dissemination of population survey results benefit the end user when results are engaging and visually appealing, as they enhance understanding and move research into action. In 2011, the CIHR Social Research Centre in HIV Prevention (SRC) at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) conducted a national population health survey to gain a better understanding of Canadians’ behaviours, attitudes, knowledge and perceptions of HIV and AIDS. To maximize the dissemination of these survey results, the team was funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant to build a prototype for an open source (or open access or non proprietorial) web-based data visualization tool. The interactive tool visualizes the survey data using both spatial and non-spatial elements and utilizes both Drupal and Google map and charts scripts. The tool is currently undergoing evaluation by its target knowledge users, which are staff at organizations that provide HIV and AIDS-related services across Canada. Future plans are to further build-out non-spatial visualization components as well as add additional data to the platform. This project involves a multi-disciplinary collaboration between public health researchers, geographers, librarians and professionals from community-based AIDS organizations. This session will describe the process of developing the data visualization tool; share the results from the evaluation data collected ; and discuss the challenge of designing a tool that engages users through an easily accessible and visually pleasing representation without losing the multidimensional complexity of the data.

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