Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Sociology: Community Area Data in Simply Map

Community Areas in SimplyMap

This page demonstrates how to use SimplyMap to create community area custom locations for the analysis of the Chicago Community Areas. 

Creating the Community Area

First, get the Shape of the community area from the official City of Chicago maps.  Take special note of the outer borders of the community area.



Login to SimplyMap, create an account if necessary. 

First, select a variable.  Population by number provides good contrast.  Click Variables>Census Data>Census Questions># Population, then close the side tab.

Second, choose your location.  I recommend Chicago, choose Cities>Illinois>Chicago,IL then click use this location and close the side tab.

Third, Zoom in on your Community Area, I have chosen Uptown for this example.  Make sure to select view data by Census Tracts.

Fourth, add your first census tract to your combination area.  Click on the blue information circle in the top menu, then click on one of the Census Tracts within your community area to bring up the menu.  In the menu, select add to combination, then click on create new combination.  Give your combination a name and click save.  For other census tracts, follow the same process, but instead of create new combination, add the tract to your previously created combination.

To view your custom area, select locations, then click custom to bring up your own custom locations. 

Creating a Tabular Report

To create a Tabular Report, first select New Tabular Report from the top of the page and select Standard Report. 

Second, add locations to your map.  Your custom location should appear in Custom.  You can add other locations from the main locations menu for comparison purposes.  

Second, add variables.  For a tabular report, you can add as many variables as you want. Data starting with # indicates that it is numerical and thus can be added to a custom location.  Close the window to

To export this data, click actions>Download report> Excel File.  This will allow you to manipulate the data as you will.

Subject Guide

Paul Voelker's picture
Paul Voelker
Paul Voelker
Director, Klarchek Information Commons