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Online Mapping Tools

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


Penn Libraries provides access to easy-to-use tools for creating maps from data, without GIS experience.

   Primarily demographic and historical U.S. census data; also provides access to other U.S. and international data sets. 
   Public policy, housing, and a plethora of other data sets for the U.S. 
  Marketing data and projections for the U.S.

These resources are free to Penn users; to get the benefit of the Penn subscription, they should be accessed through the library homepage or Penn research guides. This guide will show you how to choose the tool that is right for you and to make maps with simple exercises that demonstrate their powerful features.

Which to Use?

  Social Explorer PolicyMap SimplyAnalytics
Emphasis Demography and historical census data Social policy  Marketing data and projections
Census/American Community Survey 1790-2018 2000-2018 2000-2018
Other Data US elections, religion, crime, and health Data;  World Development Indicators, Canadian Census, European Statistics, UK Census, Ireland Religion Housing, lending, health, workforce NielsenPRIZM, sales, including projections 
Export Formats Image, Powerpoint, Excel, CSV PDF, PNG, CSV PNG, JPEG, SVG, PDF, Shapefile
Geographies For Decennial Census/American Community Survey: census geographies. For other data, varies by data set.  Varies by data set.  Census, zip code, congressional district.