Social Explorer is an online GIS tool that allows you to interrogate data from the U.S. Census from the very first census to the most recent. While this portion of the workshop will assume some interest in using Social Explorer, like all other platforms, there are benefits and drawbacks for selecting this particular application.
Is Social Explorer right for me?
Do use Social Explorer if you…
- Have access to the internet
- Plan to use only U.S. census data
- Focus on the “story” of a map rather than a fully customized map
- Would like to use graphs from other data sources
- Want to share online maps
Do NOT use Social Explorer if you…
- Intend to use geographic data not a part of the U.S. census database
- Want to show data beyond:
- Census Tract
- Census Block Group
- Want to customize your own data symbolization
- Want your maps put into GoogleEarth, ArcGIS, or other desktop-based GIS solutions
Getting Started with Social Explorer
Navigate to http://www.socialexplorer.com then click on “Start Now”
Next, zoom to a specific area, such as Los Angeles…
Notice how the depicted geography changes:
You can change what data is shown by clicking on the “Change Data” icon:
Feel free to explore various data sets on subjects related to your interest:
You can change the symbology of the map by click on the upper right corner:
You can save or Export your map in the top menu bar:
Exporting data out of Social Explorer:
A. Use the Table View
1. Go the Social Explorer website and click on “Table”
2. Choose a Census Year for the data you are interested in:
3. Select a geography, for example “Census Tract” and then a “State”.
4. Then select some geography, such as “All Census Tracts in Los Angeles County, California.” and click “Add”.
5. Scroll down and then click on “Proceed to Tables”:
6. Select some tables and the click “Add”:
7. Scroll down and then click on “Show Results” to proceed:
8. Click on Data Download:
9. Click on the CSV to download your file!
B. Using Reports
Fancy use of Social Explorer: Comparing, swiping, and stories