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Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Sociology: Social Explorer/Mapping Chicago Community Areas

Sociology resources at Loyola University Chicago

Social Explorer


Social Explorer is a geographic mapping information resource that allows one to create specialized maps and reports on specific demographic data.  This guide focuses on creating custom maps Chicago Community Areas, specifically Rogers Park and Edgewater.

Getting started and creating an account

Link to Social Explorer

Start at

Select Social Explorer from A-Z list

Register for your account

Select United States map and click EXPLORE


Zoom into Chicago area by double clicking on map



Locate general Rogers Park or Edgewater area (you can use Google Maps to get the precise boundaries of the neighborhood(s)



To create a custom map of a specific Chicago Community Area(Rogers Park, Edgewater), follow these steps. Click on button on right side of screen and select MASK MAP DATA


In order to properly map a Chicago Community Area, you’ll need to select all of the Census Tracts within that area

Click on all the Census Tracts falling within the boundaries of the Community Area



Once selected, click DONE



You’ll now be able to create different maps of the Community Area by adjusting the variables. To change the variables being reported, click CHANGE DATA. You can then create various maps by adjusting the categories, survey data, etc.



To create a report, follow these steps

Click button on right side of screen and Select CREATE REPORT


You’ll want to select all of the Census Tracts falling within the boundaries of the neighborhood by clicking on each Census Tract, then Select the type of report you would like and click CREATE


Adjust "geos per page," so you can see all data on one page of report