General Help for CDC WONDER
What is CDC WONDER?
CDC WONDER: Information and Communication
Welcome to CDC WONDER -- Wide-ranging ONline Data for Epidemiologic Research -- an easy-to-use, menu-driven system that makes the information resources of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) available to public health professionals and the public at large. It provides access to a wide array of public health information.
CDC WONDER furthers CDC's mission of health promotion and disease prevention by speeding and simplifying access to public health information for state and local health departments, the Public Health Service, and the academic public health community. CDC WONDER is valuable in public health research, decision making, priority setting, program evaluation, and resource allocation.
CDC WONDER, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is an integrated information and communication system for public health. Its purposes are:
With CDC WONDER you can:
The data is ready for use in desktop applications such as word processors, spreadsheet programs, or statistical and geographic analysis packages. File formats available include plain text (ASCII), web pages (HTML), and spreadsheet files (Tab Separated Values). All of these facilities are menu-driven, and require no special computer expertise.
CDC WONDER provides the following services:
How to Use CDC WONDER
CDC WONDER presents you with an array of health related data sets. Each data set can be queried using a series of menus.
Document collections, such as CDC Prevention Guidelines, are presented in a topic list or table of contents. In some cases, a full text search option is available as well.
Statistical databases are presented in a series of "fill in the blanks" request forms. You fill in the forms to specify the criteria for your data request, and then send the request to be processed. The results of your query are usually returned within seconds. If the system is delayed processing your request, however, some queries allow you to retrieve your results later, or you can have them e-mailed to you.
When you receive your results in CDC WONDER, you can view them online and then, if you desire, save them on your personal computer so that you can load them into another program. For example, you can generate charts or maps of your data, and paste these images into word processor documents or presentations. If you request numeric data, you may wish to load the data into a spreadsheet or statistical analysis program. You can do so by clicking the "Export" button to generate a tab separated file for download. Some software support the ability to paste rows copied from the table displayed in the web page.
Please refer to Data Sets and Documentation for more information.
The CDC WONDER home page is located on the world wide web at http://wonder.cdc.gov/. Specific pages and forms within WONDER are linked to from many other sites on the web.
Most of CDC WONDER will work with most web browsers. To fully use CDC WONDER, however, you need a browser with Java Script enabled. WONDER works with Internet Explorer version 6 and above, and with the Firefox version 1.5 and above.
Standard features:These standard features are available for the WONDER online databases:
Data Sets and Documentation
CDC WONDER is a powerful tool for retrieving and analyzing public health data. Before using any data set, we urge you to review the detailed data set documentation to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the nature and limitations of the data sets. If you have any questions regarding a CDC WONDER data set, please contact CDC WONDER Customer Support.
Brief summaries of the content of all CDC WONDER data sets are available here and from the CDC WONDER home page.
Comprehensive documentation for a given data set is available in the online help under each data set's request screen.
Querying Data Sets
CDC WONDER presents you with an array of health related data sets. Each data set is queried using a series of menus. The array of data sets available through CDC WONDER changes over time as CDC works to make new data sources available and as problems are encountered and resolved.
Document collections, such as CDC Prevention Guidelines, are presented in a topic list or table of contents. In some cases, a full text search option is available as well. These documents are pre-formatted and organized on the WONDER web site so that you can access them instantly.
Statistical databases are presented in a series of "fill in the blanks" request forms. You fill in the forms to specify the criteria for your data request, and then send the request to be processed. Behind the scenes, your request is forwarded the appropriate database server on the CDC network.
Each data request form provides an entry allowing you to label or describe the query. This description appears on the results page that is returned, and is also used as the default filename, should you "export" your data results to a tab-delimited file for download.
When you receive your results in CDC WONDER, you can view them online and then, if you desire, save them on your personal computer so that you can load them into another program.
If you retrieved a text document, for example, you may wish to load it into a word processor. You can do so by using the "File" and "Save As" buttons on your browser to save it as an ASCII text or html file, and then loading the file into your word processor.
If you requested numeric data, you may wish to load the data into a spreadsheet or statistical analysis program. The online databases show the "Export" button above the data results. Click on this button to download a tab delimited file. Refer to Data Export Help for more information about importing the data into other applications.
Contacting CDC WONDER User Support
For support and technical assistance with CDC WONDER, or to share your ideas and opinions, click here to contact our customer support team. Links to contact us appear at the top and bottom of most WONDER pages. When reporting a problem, be as specific as possible, and try to describe the steps you took prior to encountering the error. Also, note any error messages you received from CDC WONDER or from your Web browser. It may be necessary for the support representative to attempt to recreate the error so be as detailed as possible.
The computer programs that make up CDC WONDER were created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All data are provided by CDC offices or other agencies.
We are very grateful to our "founding fathers," Andrew Friede, MD, MPH, Patrick O'Carroll, MD, MPH, Howard W. Ory, MD, MSc, and Joseph Reid, PhD for providing the system's original guiding vision and for their continuing mentorship. Special thanks to Jerry G. Gentry and William A. Norman for collaborating on mainframe database and communications systems, and Mike Cox and Kenneth McKneely for collaborating on Wide Area Network communications systems.
We are indebted to our colleagues in every part of CDC who made data available to us, and who collaborated in screen and report designs for their data sets. Grateful acknowledgment is given for the contribution of our earliest users, largely Epidemic Intelligence Service Officers, who have made hundreds of thoughtful suggestions that have been incorporated into the system. Dan Peterson and Richard Sun contributed greatly to our early development. We would especially like to thank our colleagues at the Information Network for Public Health Officials (INPHO) project: David A. Ross and Edward Baker Jr. for their collegiality.