April 2010

How To Use This Page

EJView is the update to the Environmental Justice Geographic Assessment Tool.  The updates include the new visualization platform with Microsoft Bing, updates to the data, and addition of new data layers (such as freight).

EJView is designed for the public to identify potential environmental justice areas – or disadvantaged communities that are being unduly exposed to environmental harms.  Targeted at local community groups, EJView offers a fairly sophisticated suite of map-based tools that allow users to get summaries of the demographic, health and environmental information for a particular area.  By being able to identify areas that have a coincidence of significant minority populations, significant exposure to poor air quality and water quality, and other such factors – based the user’s definition of what constitutes “significant” – the tool can be used to create an information packet with maps and reports to support grant writing, community newsletter materials, and much more.

This tool did require training for use in the past – especially for individuals without a mapping background - but we have included this How To Use This Page guidance as well as robust Help documentation within the tool.  However, please feel free to contact us for assistance in using this tool.

A listing of the data layers and links to their metadata can be found here.

How To Use This Tool

- Choose a location (address, city, state, etc.) to focus the map on your area of interest via the entry page with the search box.
-  You can use the Search icon (Search) to relocate the map to a different location once you are at the map page, or use the pan and zoom tools to drag the map to an adjacent location.
- If you want to know information for a particular point or area on the map, click the Identify icon (Identify ) and then check a layer (or multiple layers) in the legend to identify a particular feature – such as a county or facility (Superfund site, etc.) or to find out the exact value of cancer risk, percent minority, etc. for a particular area.
- To discover trends in a particular data layer – like where are the areas with the highest number of seniors - click the filter icon (Filter) associated with a map layer in the Legend (Map Contents Window at right).  A window will open that will allow you to run summary statistics for that dataset (minimum, maximum, average) and you can choose to run those statistics for either just the area within your map window or for the entire country.  The benefit of running these statistics just for the map window is that – for example, national averages for percent of the population aged 65 or older may be irrelevant for your area or highly minority areas in downtown New York City may features neighborhoods with greater than 60% minority whereas a highly minority area for Plattsburg, NY are areas with greater than 20% minority.  Once you have the statistics you can further filter the areas to show, for example, only those areas with greater than the average for percent minority.

- Other uses of the filtering tool include:

- You may notice that some levels of geography are too small to see when zoomed out to say, an entire region.  So, these have been greyed out and become unavailable if the user is zoomed out too far.  For example, you cannot view Census block data when viewing an entire State and thus the block layer for a particular demographic will appear greyed out.  You need to zoom further in using the zoom tool (Zoom in) to make these block data available for viewing.
- You can then overlay these findings with other map layers, such as areas that are in nonattainment for ozone (areas with ozone levels higher than what is deemed healthy), or other layers.
- You can also run reports for any area you choose.  By clicking on the report icon (Digitize) you can draw a boundary, drag a box, or click on a point and add a buffer around it, and then run a report that shows demographic, health, and environmental information for that area.  You can draw multiple areas at once for comparison reasons.  This is particularly useful to see the relative vulnerability of one area versus another in the case of environmental harms.  It is also useful when trying to identify an area that may require more immediate resources for community support initiatives.  Finally, these reports can be exported, printed or otherwise used in reports to support grant applications or other community outreach materials.

Please feel free to use the help as you go for more details on how to use the features described above.

You can learn more about environmental justice and what the EPA is actively doing to achieve environmental justice by visiting our website.

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