Skip to Main Content

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, or enter a zip code.



Locate general Rogers Park or Edgewater area.



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.