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FAQ: Does the UDS Mapper show all Rural Health Clinic (RHC) locations?

Rural Health Clinic (RHC) locations are visible when "Rural Health Clinics" and "Facility and Point Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)" are selected in the Explore Health Related Facilities tool. They are demarcated by a maroon or purple cross on the map. The two datasets are maintained by separate entities which explains this overlapping. The maroon locations come from CMS while the purple come from HRSA both are maintained separately from the health center data. HRSA's list of RHCs have gone through an additional certification process to be designated as a facility HPSA. Service area information is not available for RHCs.

FAQ: How are agricultural workers counted in the Uniform Data System in ZIP Code counts?

Migratory agricultural workers may have both a temporary address that reflects where they live when they are working in the community, as well as a permanent or “downstream” address that may be far from the location of their current work and the site where they are receiving care. For the purpose of the UDS report, health centers are to report the ZIP code of where the patient was housed when they received care by the health center. Note that migratory agricultural worker patients may also be seen by health center providers in their home, or “downstream” community and will still be considered migratory agricultural workers. For patients where a precise ZIP code is unavailable (e.g., living in cars or on the land), the ZIP code for the location (fixed site or mobile camp outreach) where they received services should be used.

FAQ: How are homeless patients counted in the Uniform Data System in ZIP Code counts?

If a homeless patient is living somewhere such as doubled up, in a shelter, transitional housing, or other locations for which a ZIP code can be obtained, that ZIP Code is used. Other homeless patients, especially those living on the street, do not know or will not share an exact location. When a ZIP code location cannot be obtained, or the location offered is questionable, health centers should use the ZIP code of the location where the patient is being served as a proxy. Similarly, if the patient has no other ZIP code and receives services in a mobile van, the ZIP code of the location where the van was parked that day should be used. Health centers might collect the address of a contact person to facilitate communication with the patient; however, while appropriate from a clinical and service delivery perspective, this contact address is not to be used as the address for the patient.

FAQ: How do I export data in the Data Table?

To export the data in the Data Table to a .csv (comma separated value) file click the Export icon at the top right of the data table. Depending on your internet browser preferences, you may be asked to save the file to your computer and/or may need to add a .csv extension to the file name when or after saving the file to your computer. Once downloaded, a .csv file can be opened in any spreadsheet or statistical software like Microsoft Excel.

FAQ: How do I get a username and password for the UDS Mapper?

Simply follow these steps: Go to You will see the "Register Now" link on the right side of the screen. Click the button to get to the registration form. Complete the registration form and you'll be ready to use the UDS Mapper. Your email address is your username and you will create your own password to access the site.

FAQ: How do I print the details (i.e., location of service points, ZIP Codes, community names, etc.) on the map?

All of these data can be added to the map using the Explore Service Area and Boundaries & Optional Layers tools in the Tool Box at the top right. To clearly differentiate service points, labels can be added by clicking the "Drawing Tools" icon on the lower left Tool Kit. These details will be more accurate and less cluttered at a higher zoom level. Once all desired data have been added, simply click the "Print" icon at the lower left Tool Kit to export the map as a .pdf and print from that .pdf document.

FAQ: How do I print the map on the screen?

A map can be printed directly from the mapping screen by clicking the 'Print' icon (looks like a printer) on the lower left Tool Kit to first save the file as a PDF, and then print from the PDF file.

FAQ: How do I request access to use the UDS Mapper?

When you go to you will see the "Register Now" link on the right side of the screen. Click the button to get to the registration form.

FAQ: How do I see Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico?

You can manually zoom and drag the map to where these locations are found on the map. Alternately, using the Explore Service Area tool, search for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or any location within those states and territories and choose the desired location from the drop down display to go to that area.

FAQ: How do I see the population numbers for an area I am interested in?

Within the map, make sure you are zoomed in close enough to see ZCTAs. If you want to see the total population for a particular ZCTA, simply put your mouse pointer over that ZCTA - population will be the top number in the lower left Tool Kit display. If you want to see the total population for a group of ZCTAs, select them from the map and click the Data Table icon (looks like four squares together) in the lower left Tool Kit. The top row in the Data Table will be a summary for all the ZCTAs you selected.

FAQ: How do I see the total number of patients that came from a particular Health Center Service Access Site (point)?

These data are not available within the UDS Mapper because Health Center Program (HCP) grantees and look-alikes do not report their data this way. Say a health center has three service access sites (A, B and C) in different ZIP Codes. Three patients (1, 2 and 3) who are all from ZIP Code 00000 each receive care at one of these sites, let's say patient 1 went to site A, patient 2 went to site B and patient 3 went to site C. When the health center reports their patients by ZIP Code, they sum up for all patients regardless of which location they received their care so instead of reporting one patient from ZIP Code 00000 for site A, one for site B and one for site C, they report three patients from ZIP Code 00000 for the organization overall.

FAQ: How is the poverty level determined for Alaska and Hawaii?

The poverty data in the UDS Mapper is from the five-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates. The ACS does not vary poverty thresholds geographically. Therefore, the UDS Mapper does not contain any adjustments for the costs of living in Alaska or Hawaii.

FAQ: How much does it cost me to use the UDS Mapper?

There is no charge to use the UDS Mapper. It is available to anyone who has access to the Internet and has an email address.

FAQ: How much does it cost to attend a webinar?

There is no charge to attend a scheduled webinar.

FAQ: How much does it cost to have a personalized webinar?

There is no charge to request or have a personalized webinar. Please request the webinar using the “Contact Us” form on the UDS Mapper site.

FAQ: How often are the data in the UDS Mapper updated?

The data are updated at various times depending on the data and data source. In general, patient data are updated once a year around August and core demographic data are updated once a year in January or February. Information about how often the data are updated can be found in the Knowledge Base section in the UDS Mapper.

FAQ: I attended a webinar. Can I get the slides from that presentation?

The slides from the presentation can be found on the UDS Mapper website, on the Tutorials page of the Tutorials & Resources section.

FAQ: I have had difficulty zooming in to the ideal scale. Is there a way to fine-tune the zooming option besides moving the tab on the bar on the left?

The extents for the zooms are pre-set just as they are in other online mapping platforms. There are other methods of zooming but they are linked to the same zoom extents as those on the zoom bar. These alternate methods include double clicking on an area, using the scroll wheel on your computer mouse, and drawing a box with your mouse while holding down the Shift key. The map may also look different on different monitors or with different monitor settings (resolution). You may find the right image size using a different monitor or adjusting your settings.

FAQ: I would like to look up a specific address- how do I do that?

Within the Explore Service Area tool, select ‘by Distance’ mode. Within this tool you can enter a specific address to pinpoint it on the map. Enter the address in the search box and then click the magnifying glass button.

FAQ: I'm looking at a ZCTA that shows a 50-100% loss of patients in the 1-year % change in HCP grantee patients Main Map layer, but is blank in the 2-year % change in HCP grantee patient layer. Why might that be?

First, remember that only ZCTAs reporting 11 or more patients from a health center are counted. The most likely explanation of this scenario is as follows: two years ago, that ZCTA had fewer than 11 patients reported by the health center. In the following year, the same ZCTA had 11 or more patients reported. Finally, the next year, the ZCTA reported fewer than 11 patients. For example, the ZCTA may have had 8 patients reported in 2013, 11 in 2014, and 9 in 2015. When the 2-year % change in patients is calculated, only 2013 and 2015 data are examined. Since there were less than 11 patients, zero patients were reported in those two years so the % change layer is displayed as blank. However, when the one year % change in patients is calculated, 2014 and 2015 data are examined. This showed that the number of patients decreased from 11 in 2014 to 0 in 2015. This accounts for a 100% loss in patients and colors the ZCTA red. Be careful in interpreting these % change layers when the number of patients is small.

FAQ: Is BPHC going to use this tool when they review NAP, EMC, etc. applications?

Yes. For any map and/or data table you are instructed to create using the UDS Mapper, expect BPHC staff to verify the information using the UDS Mapper.

FAQ: Is it possible to add my own data or map layers to the map?

Yes. The Map My Data tool allows the user to add non-HIPAA sensitive point data or use the Drawing Tools to annotate the map and add shapes. For detailed instructions on each of these tools, please see the Tutorials page of the Tutorials and Resources Section of the UDS Mapper.

FAQ: Is it possible to quickly select and download data for all ZCTAs from a state or county?

Yes. The ‘+' button in the Explore Service Area tool in ‘by Geography’ mode allows a user to select ZCTAs that approximate an entire state or county. You can then select that Data Table icon (looks like four squares together) at the lower left Tool Kit to export the data to a spreadsheet file. Remember that ZCTAs may cross state or county lines, so this is only an approximation of state or county data.

FAQ: Is it possible to view or export a map of only a single state or county?

At present it is not possible to isolate any geography cleanly besides ZCTA. It is important to keep in mind that people will cross geopolitical boundaries every day in order to access health care, so understanding what is going on in neighboring counties and states will be important for any analysis.

FAQ: Is there a number to call if we need help?

You may fill out the Contact Us form if you have any questions. If you prefer a call, please list that as your preferred method of contact in the Contact Us form and we will call you.

FAQ: Is there some way to make the maps larger for download or printing?

Yes. There are features available that allow you to print or download a larger map. First, you can use the interactive zooming tool in the print screen to zoom out to show more map. You can also select to print or download a full page map using the “Full Page Map” option in the print screen. This will move your legend items to the second page of our print out or PDF.

FAQ: What are the password requirements for the UDS Mapper?

Your password must contain a minimum of 8 characters including 1+ upper case letters, 1+ lower case letters and 1+ numbers.

FAQ: What do the different sizes of dots mean in the legend?

There are two sizes of dots which appear next to “Health Center Administrative Locations” and “Health Center Service Access Points” in the legend, and are added to the map when these layers are checked in the Explore Service Area tool. The larger dot represents a health center administrative location, while the smaller dot represents a health center service access point. Both dots have information that displays on the lower left. The same is true for the triangles that represent look-alike organizations and sites.

FAQ: What do the numbers under the slider bar represent in Population Indicators?

The numbers represent the range of data for that indicator that could be shown if the indicator is turned on.  The number on the left represents the value that the slider button is set on and the number on the right represents the maximum value of that dataset for the nation.


FAQ: What does the light gray color on the map represent?

If you have not selected any background options such as Population or UDS Data from Main Maps, the default color for the background is light gray. If using this basemap, the gray will also show through when other map layers are turned on if the layers you have turned on do not have data for that ZCTA or for areas where there are no ZCTAs.

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