Data story. A well-prepared health system or a state in crisis

TitleHealth crisis : Massachusetts’ low income families more likely to live near hazardous sites
CreatorAlison DeGraff Ollivierre
LocationLeventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library
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TitleHealth success : Massachusetts well-prepared to deal with health issues from hazardous sites
CreatorMadison Draper
LocationLeventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library
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Cartographers’ statement

This map set focuses on the hazardous sites spread throughout the state of Massachusetts. The first map explores how these sites overlap with hospitals, and the sizes (as shown by bed count) of those hospitals, to attempt to demonstrate how well-prepared communities would be able to deal with potential health issues from the hazardous sites. The second map explores how many of these sites fell within towns that have high percentages of residents living below the poverty level, visualizing how vulnerable populations could be made more vulnerable by their proximity to hazardous sites. These two contrasting ways of looking at the hazardous sites—how Massachusetts hospitals could be well-equipped to deal with a public health emergency from a hazardous site and how low-income residents could be disproportionately effected by a public health emergency from a hazardous site—shows the immense power held by the analyst visualizing the data and the importance of not just taking maps and visualizations at their face value.


  • Madison Draper
    Picture of Madison Draper
    Madison Draper is a geographer based in San Francisco, California. With a BA in Geography and American Studies from UC Berkeley, she is interested in maps that capture the dichotomy and often tension between a factual history and a relative sociology. At the intersection of tech and design, she's presented at tech and map conferences around the US. She currently works at Mapbox designing maps for customers and studying for a MA in Design Management at SCAD to implement at scale. Outside of cartographic design, Madison volunteers regularly with foster youth and playing with her cat, Egg.
  • Alison DeGraff Ollivierre
    Picture of Alison DeGraff Ollivierre
    Alison DeGraff Ollivierre is an award-winning cartographer and certified GIS professional (GISP) with over 10 years of experience and training, recognized as one of xyHt Magazine's 40 Under 40 Remarkable Geospatial Professionals of 2018. She currently works full-time at National Geographic, part-time for the conservation NGO BirdsCaribbean, and part-time conducting freelance work as Tombolo Maps & Design.