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Online Mapping Tools

How to create maps quickly and easily using Social Explorer, SimplyAnalytics, or PolicyMap.

Using Social Explorer

Screenshot of Franklin catalog entry for Social ExplorerAccess Social Explorer via Penn Libraries 

To access Social Explorer through the Penn Libraries website, click on the "Connect to resource" link located in the "Online" box on the right side of your screen.

You will then be asked to enter your PennKey and password.









Using Maps in Social Explorer

Mapping with Social Explorer allows users to: 

Create and customize thematic and interactive maps that explore historical and modern US census data down to the street level (where available).

Navigate current and historical demographic data and surveys.

 [Image: Percentage owner-occupied housing, Philadelphia, ACS 2014.] 






Using Reports in Social Explorer

Reports allow users to:

Create data reports at all geographic levels, including state, county, census tract, block group, zip code, and census place.  Data are available for export as .png image files or as PowerPoint presentations (.xml files).

Export, save, and print reports, presentations, and graphics. High-resolution images are available and any presentation can be exported directly to PowerPoint.



Social Explorer Practice

Exercise: Mapping Unemployment Rates

This exercise will help you understand how to map demographic data at a particular location and time using Social Explorer. While this exercise is specific in scope, what it teaches can be applied to a broad range of projects.

Click Here

Exercise: Mapping Historical Data

This exercise will help you understand how to create a report that maps changes in demographic data over a period of time.

Click Here

How to Cite



Data source. Title of table, dates. Prepared by Social Explorer. permalink URL (date accessed).


U.S. Census Bureau. Population Density, 1960. Prepared by Social Explorer. (accessed Jul 27 13:58:03 EST 2010).


Title of map, dates. Social Explorer, permalink URL (based on data from <identify data source>; date accessed).

Population Density, 1960. Social Explorer, (based on data from U.S. Census Bureau; accessed Jul 27 17:16:03 EST 2010).



Data source. “Title of table, dates.” Social Explorer. Medium. Date posted.


U.S. Census Bureau. “Population Density, 1960.” Social Explorer. Web. Jul 27 13:58:03 EST 2010.


“Title of map, dates.” Map. Social Explorer. Social Explorer, n.d. Medium. Date posted.

(based on data from )


“Population Density, 1960.” Map. Social Explorer. Social Explorer, n.d. Web. Jul 27 13:58:03 EST 2010. . (based on data from U.S. Census Bureau)

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