Skip all navigation and go to page content
NN/LM Home About SCR | Contact SCR | Feedback | Help | Bookmark and Share

Archive for 2010

Checking-In with Geolocation

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Facebook Places Icon

Geolocation is broadly defined as the identification of the real-world geographic location of an object. Geolocation applications used in cell phones rely on GPS technology to identify the location of the cell phone. Geolocation can also be used to identify digital objects. Location “tagging” is seen in photo sharing sites such as Flickr which offers geotagging. This location tag provides a way to search for images or information shared about a specific location.

The geolocation concept took off in 2010. Social media applications such as Facebook began allowing users to check into locations using mobile devices and tell others where they were and what they were doing. Other applications including Foursquare and Gowalla saw growth through 2010.

Drawing people to geolocation is the ability to report in real-time about the experiences or interactions a person is having. Yelp also launched a geolocation feature in 2010. With Yelp users can now check into their favorite spot and report on the quality of their experience as it happens.

Foursquare Icon

Gowalla Icon

Sites such as Gowalla and Foursquare provide users with a more social approach to geolocation. Users can check in at locations and earn badges, points and even special deals from specific locations. Both of these applications also provide the user a way to take photos of  locations  and share tips and commentary with others.

The American Medical Association recently released advice for physicians interested in geolocation in the article Geolocation services: Have your patients put you on the map? While patients might use geolocation applications, it is important that physicians do not violate HIPAA regulations. Additionally the article reminds physicians that many geolocation applications work well for business promotion but may not be appropriate for medical practices. The article does encourage physicians to review location information for accuracy to ensure the contact information for the practice is listed correctly.

For librarians and information professionals, the use of geolocation applications could be useful for promoting library services and interacting with library users. Many public libraries have had success using geolocation application such as Foursquare to offer specials and prizes for their frequent visitors. David Lee King provides some examples of libraries using Foursquare in his post, Libraries and Foursquare Definitely Something There!

Geolocation applications are also becoming popular during conferences. Look for prize opportunities at upcoming events you attend such as the Medical Library Association conference. You may be surprised when and where you can use geolocation applications.

Happy Holidays From the SCR Staff

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a very healthy new year!

The National Library of Medicine will be closed:

December 24, 2010 – December 25, 2010
December 31, 2010 – January 1, 2011

The NN/LM SCR office will be closed:
December 24, 2010 – December 27, 2010
December 31, 2010 – January 3, 2011

NN LM SCR Office Staff Holiday Photo

Bing Health Maps

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Bing Health Map example of Louisiana

Beginning over the summer search engine giant Bing began offering interactive health maps. These maps are designed to provide visualization of health data using a map interface. As part of the company’s work with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Community Health Data Initiative, Bing launched Bing Health Maps in June.

Bing Health Maps allows users to select a state and then a community health indicator to explore. The map application divides the state into counties or parishes and overlays health indicator data for the location selected. By clicking on a county or parish, Bing Health Maps provides additional health indicators for the community. Data available through Bring Health Maps is tied to the data provided by the HHS. Data includes cancer rates, infant mortality rates and other health status indicators including reported obesity and exercise levels. Bing Health Maps provides a good starting point for anyone interested in learning more about community health status.

Bing Health Maps can be viewed using an Internet browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer. Bing Health Maps is free but may require a free software installation or upgrade, depending on the browser being used.







Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!  If you are like me, you are jumping up and down in excitement because…The NLM Classification Poster is available!!!!!

That’s right!  You can order your own 18″ x 24″ poster from NLM.  There is a 8 1/2″ x 11″ PDF version available as well.

NLM Classification Poster

See Willis SR. NLM® Classification Poster Updated. NLM Tech Bull. 2010 Nov-Dec;(377):e20 for instructions on how to order the poster.

Update 1/6/2011: The NN/LM SCR is happy to announce that we have arranged to have posters available directly from our office for our network members. Anyone interested in receiving a poster, email me directly ( with the number of posters you want and your mailing address and we will send them out to you soon.

SCR CONNECTions December 15 Webinar Recording Available

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

The recording for the December 15, 2010 SCR CONNECTions webinar, Comparative Effectiveness Research with Ione Auston from the National Information Center on Health Services Research (NICHSR) division of the National Library of Medicine, is now available online at Please note we experienced some trouble with captioning during this recording. Presentation materials are provided.

The next SCR CONNECTions will be held on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 10:30am CT. The topic will be determined soon, the focus will be on technology.

NLM to Host Disaster Information Outreach Symposium in 2011

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Registration is now open for the Disaster Information Outreach Symposium, to be held March 29-30, 2011 at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), Bethesda, Maryland. Information professionals, library staff, as well as students are encouraged to attend this free event.  Seats are limited, so register early! The symposium, co-sponsored by NLM, the Medical Library Association, and the Special Libraries Association, will focus on librarians and libraries providing high quality health information during all phases of disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.

More information and registration are available at: .

Using Data Visualization for Innovative Communication

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Data Visualization Chart of Health Costs

Data is everywhere. Many of us collect data on a daily basis. From library statistics to personal records, data can be used to help us better understand our environment and make informed decisions. While data is vital to helping us make decisions, sometimes interpreting that data is difficult. While spreadsheets and data lists provide access to information, seeing patterns can be difficult. In many cases a visual representation of the data can be used to better demonstrate what the data is saying. When presenting library statistics to the board or when reviewing your weight loss, a visual representation of the data can help you or your audience understand what the data is telling you.

Data visualization helps us better use data to tell a story and connect with an audience. While many of us think of charts and graphs for data visualization, new technologies including advanced information graphics and mapping are taking data visualization to a new level. Newspapers such as the New York Times have been using data visualizations to add relevance to their news pieces and engage their readers. Many of these visualizations are online information graphics which can be manipulated by the reader. Try the tools in the New York Times Visualization Lab to get a feel for creating visual representations of data and information.

Explore these top 10 data visualization projects of the year to see how data visualization is changing the way we understand and interact with data. The blog Read, Write, Web also shares 3 Tips for Engaging Online Communities with Data Visualization.

When sharing health information, data visualization can be a powerful tool. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently begun using data visualization to share health information through their eHealth Marketing campaign. The commercial project from GE, Healthymagination, makes health data visualizations available on their website Visualizing Data.

Journals in NCBI Databases

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

The merger of the Journals Database within the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Catalog is complete.

To search for journals, click on the Journal in NCBI Databases on the PubMed homepage.

Screenshot of PubMed Homepage Link to Journals in NCBI databases link is highlighted

The results will display the list of journal titles. Notice the Limits for Journal in NCBI Databases are activated. Also notice that you can still build a PubMed search from the results.

Screenshot of Journals Results Page Limited Activated Icon is highlighted

NLM has created some tutorials to assist you with this change:

Health Literacy Class in Houston

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The NN/LM SCR will be offering the Promoting Health Literacy through Easy-to-Read Materials class at the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library in Houston:

Thursday, January 13, 2011
8:30 am – 12:30 pm

This is a 4-hour hands-on class. Participants in the class will gain experience in the large group and break-out groups to critique, rewrite and create materials that allow health and wellness information to be conveyed quickly and clearly. We’ll review the disconnect between information providers and information seekers, the process of educating adults, the success of “plain language” initiatives and the importance of text, type, graphics, space and layout. During the class you will review and edit documents to gain new awareness, new skills, and access to further resources. Clear health communication is the goal, regardless of medium.

Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 4 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

To register for the class, go to:

As always, all NN/LM SCR classes are free and open to anyone.

Year End Processing Changes

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Update: 12/13/2010 Another article of YEP was recently posted.

What’s New for 2011 MeSH®

Descriptions of some of the major changes to MeSH 2011.

Schulman JL. What’s New for 2011 MeSH®. NLM Tech Bull. 2010 Nov-Dec;(377):e17.

12/09/2010: The November – December 2010 NLM Technical Bulletin has posted many articles about the changes the Year End Processing (YEP) will make on PubMed and other databases.  Here are the highlights:

NLM® Catalog and Journals Databases Merge

NLM will soon be launching a redesigned NLM Catalog that will include the Journals Database.  The Journals Database will retire.

Torre S. NLM® Catalog and Journals Databases Merge. NLM Tech Bull. 2010 Nov-Dec;(377):e7.

PubMed® Notes — 2011

The 2011 changes to PubMed are listed.

Nahin AM. PubMed® Notes — 2011. NLM Tech Bull. 2010 Nov-Dec;(377):e16.

Changes to MEDLINE® Data for Year-End Processing — 2011

Check out the changes to MEDLINE and MeSH for 2011.

Tybaert S. MEDLINE® Data Changes — 2011. NLM Tech Bull. 2010 Nov-Dec;(377):e12a.

Cataloging News — 2011

MeSH 2011 implications for LocatorPlus® , NLM® Catalog, and the NLM Classification.

Boehr D, Willis S. Cataloging News 2011. NLM Tech Bull. 2010 Nov-Dec;(377):e8.