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Philadelphia Schools and Neighborhoods: Social Explorer and PolicyMap

Social Explorer

Logo for Social Explorer 

With Social Explorer, create maps and reports using the U.S. Decennial Census (1790 to 2010), American Community Survey (2005 to 2018), and other sources. (PennKey)

  • Decennial Census for 1790 to 1930 provides county, state and national data.
  • Decennial Census for 1940-2000 provides census tract, county, state and national data. Older tract data is presented with 2010 geographies.
  • Specialized U.S. data resources are mostly at the county level and include: FBI Uniform Crime Report (2010 to 2016), American election results (1912 to 2018), Religious Congregations and Membership Study (1980 and 2010), County and Zip code US Business Patterns (2014-2016), and Health Rankings and Roadmaps Program data (2010 to 2016).

Create Tract-level reports

Click Tables

Choose the survey and the year (ACS 5 year or Decennial Census), click Begin Report.

In the Select a Geographic type menu, choose 140 Census Tract.

Navigate to Pennsylvania > Philadelphia County > Tract numbers (you can selected multiple tracts), Add and Proceed to Tables

Choose desired Table(s), Add, and Show Results

Note that Documentation and Data Dictionary links will appear at the bottom of the results screen.  Data can be downloaded to EXCEL.

Create Tract-level maps

Click Explore Maps.  Then, on the right, click the Explore button, under the United States map.  

Enter school address in the search box.  Click correct address in supplied options to go to default population map. Based on the automatic zoom level of the map, tract boundaries are supplied.  By default, the data selector displays the latest ACS 5-Year Population Density estimate.

Explore Data Sources

In the top-left corner, click Change Data Select year, category, and elements within a category.

Map Details

Visualization types include Shaded Area, Bubbles, and Dot Density.

Colors and cutpoints can be adjusted.


Logo for Policy Map 

With PolicyMap, create tables, reports, and maps.  Access over 15K indicators from more than 150 authoritative public and proprietary sources covering demographics, education, housing, health, labor and more..   Create a personal account in order to save work. (PennKey) 

  • PolicyMap sources   
  • Data are available at all common geographies -- block group, census tract, zip code, county, city, state, MSA, as well as school districts and political boundaries.
  • Enter an address to discover the tract in which a school is situated. 

Create a Map

  • Highlight Maps option at screen top. In the location box, enter a school address. This will zoom to the address and from there you can pan, and zoom in or out.
  • Click on a specific map location and the smallest geography lines will get drawing.  This might be block group.  A popup will appear that contains all the geographies in which that small area resides. The boundary line category that is bold in the pop-up is the one that is displaying.  Click another to change the boundaries showing.

Pop-up of all the geography data points of a certain spot on map

  • Road and land-use are the default boundary layers.  To change map boundaries, click on the  button at the bottom of the screen. Try selecting tracts, zip codes, or school districts.
  • Use the topical categories at the top to add data.  Data can be presented as either layers or points.  Using the Maps element, only data element can be displayed.  Choose 3-Layer Maps for more complex maps.

Creating Custom Boundaries

You can make custom boundaries, such as for a catchment area or two combine two tracks if a school resides on the boarder between two tracts.  When looking at a map, click Create at page bottom.  Options include to draw a boundary, use a radius from a point, or combine existing boundaries.

Reports - Use reports to assemble data about a single location.  Locations are either:

1) Predefined geography (census tract, block group, Congressional District, School District, State District, Metro area).

2) Radius around a location point.  Enter school address, in the pop-up, click Report, choose radius around school.

Arrow pointing towards "see report" on address in map

3) Custom Regions   

The data and reports are pre-determined and include: Community Profile, Community Health Report, Rental Housing Report, Home Mortgage Report

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