Step-by-step tutorials for working on mapping projects using GIS methods and software.

View the Project on GitHub HarvardMapCollection/tutorials

How to explore census data online with Social Explorer

This tutorial will walk through the following Social Explorer tasks:

Tip: Censusreporter.org is a tool for learning which census variables are available, and how they are collected.

Example use case

This tutorial will practice exploring data based on the following parameters:

Getting started with Social Explorer

  1. Visit your institution’s Social Explorer. Here is the link for Harvard’s Social Explorer.

  2. If you have an account, log in. Otherwise, you’ll have to make one.

Changing demographic variables

  1. Select Change data.

  2. Select Housing. Screenshot of housing data button on Social Explorer

  3. Select Owner Occupied under ACS 2019 (5-Year Estimates) → Tenure → Occupied Housing Units.

  4. Select the close button at the top of the data selector menu.

  5. Select the by State to open the Geography selector. Screenshot of the by State button on Social Explorer

  6. Select Census Tract.

  7. In the search bar, search for Cambridge, MA. Screenshot of the Social Explorer map search bar filled out with Cambridge, MA

  8. Zoom in and out of the map to explore in more detail.

Adding or uploading datasets

  1. Select the ☰ icon from the change data menu to see options for adding other datasets.

  2. Select Map Layers.

  3. Choose between browsing the Layer library for prepared datasets, or select Upload data to import your own .CSV file of addresses.

Social Explorer has guides and documentation on how to upload your data layer.

Exporting the data as a map image

  1. Select the Export as Image button from the top-right menu banner.

  2. Define the extent by zooming and panning.

  3. Select Export and the image file will download to your computer.