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Social Explorer Guide: Home

Social Explorer Best Practices & Support

Welcome to Social Explorer!

Social Explorer: Explore your world, share your insights.

Social Explorer helps you gain deep insights into any location of interest through thousands of data variables and stunning visualizations, and reinforces your decisions with reliable data mapping capabilities.

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a librarian, this guide is designed to help you get started with Social Explorer, and get the most out of the maps, data, and tools we offer. 

To get started:

  • Log in to Social Explorer via your library's website, or directly via the Social Explorer login page and explore on your own
  • Check out the boxes below for recommended starting points for students, educators, and librarians 
  • Review our guides and videos for walk throughs of how to use main features such as maps, reports, and visualizing data
  • Click on the page for your discipline to explore a curated list of maps, data sets, and teaching and learning modules by topic

Need help? Please visit our help center or contact us!

For Educators

Teaching and Learning Modules

Explore resources created by Social Explorer to inspire creativity, encourage hands-on learning, and equip your students with desired skills.

This library of activities is ready to help you engage your class. Sortable by subject, length, and level, it's simple to find the right activity to plug into your lesson plan.

Check for the latest data snacks, short modules that use Social Explorer maps and data to help visualize answers to current, relevant questions in our society today. 

Click here to get started!

Assignment Grading Rubrics and Classroom Discussion Tools

Working with instructors, Social Explorer has created a series of grading rubrics and discussion tools to support using data visualizations in the courses that you teach. These teaching materials can be found at the links below.

For Students

Explore Maps

Login here and start exploring! You can pick from maps that cover everything from 220 years of U.S. Census data, U.S. elections, crime, business, environmental, health, and religion data, even statistics for Europe and World Development Indicators. 

Make maps for your assignments quickly and easily, then save your work and tell your stories with data.

For Librarians

Let's Get Started

Login here and start exploring! Maps that cover everything from 220 years of U.S. Census data, U.S. elections, crime, business, environmental, health, and religion data, even statistics for Europe and World Development Indicators. 

The Tables page provides easy access to all datasets available on Social Explorer, including detailed documentation and options to create customized reports. You can also access all survey data directly via Social Explorer's Data Dictionary

Social Explorer Account Set-up for Students, Instructors, and University Staff

You can gain access to Social Explorer through your institutional license. Click on this Social Explorer Account Link, find your school, and follow the prompts. Please use your institutional email address for best results. You will then receive an activation link to the email address used for setting up your account and you're all set. You can now save your work to your own Social Explorer account.

Quick Links: Using Social Explorer

Social Explorer Training Modules

Social Explorer Training Modules

These training modules are built using the Social Explorer "Tell a Story" tool.  These are great resources for patrons looking to build data visualizations for their course work and research.  The "Tell a Story" tool allows you to easily share your research and coursework with others.  Work your way through these training modules to quickly gain expertise in using Social Explorer.

  • Data Categories and Sources: Social Explorer offers a wealth of historical and current data. This module explains how to find the data you are looking for.
  • Layer Library: Social Explorer's Layer Library provides you with the tools to add more visual insights to your maps.  Let's take a look at how to add map layers from the Layer Library.
  • Comparison Views: Social Explorer allows you to compare variables by showing them side by side or swiping between two maps. Let's explore how to make map comparisons in Social Explorer.
  • Geography Levels: Social Explorer allows you to examine datasets at a wide variety of geographic levels from city, county, and congressional districts, all the way down to school district, census tract, and block group. Let's find out more about geography levels on Social Explorer.
  • Types of Visualization: Social Explorer can display data as a shaded area, dot density, or bubble map. Let's find out more about these types of visualizations.
  • Multivariate Visualization: Social Explorer allows you to map multiple variables on a single map. Let's explore multivariate visualizations.
  • Masking and Filtering: The masking tool allows you to focus on a specific map area by removing data from all the surrounding areas, while the data filtering tool allows you to filter geographies by data and identify locations based on your search. 
  • Annotations: Social Explorer offers several different types of annotations to enhance your map. These include place markers, hotspots, and a variety of drawing tools.

Introduction to Maps