Guide to Using Hekman Library Online   |   Library Reopening Plans

Social Explorer

Social Explorer

Geography professor Dr. Mark Bjelland has a special interest in urban planning and environments and teaches classes in GIS. He has been using an online demographic research tool called Social Explorer in his research, and he wondered if Calvin could get a subscription.

We have now purchased Social Explorer and it's ready for use by students, faculty and staff. What can it do? Is it only for geography students and professors? By no means!

One especially interesting feature is "Teach and Learn." Here, you can select a subject (business, education, social justice) and/or a topic (social media, income inequality, transportation) and go to a story or module of slides that visualizes the topic for you in maps with accompanying text. Teach and Learn also has something called data snacks - shorter stories where just a few maps engage the beginner on a topic, like foreign-born residents after 2010 or highest-risk coronavirus communities, to name a few examples. You can drill down to see data for your own county and metropolitan area.

The "Explore Maps" area lets you explore 220 years of data for the United States, including all deccenial censuses, American Community Surveys, and many other datasets.

Any student who loves maps and data will feel like a kid in a candy store. Try it out and see how it enhances your learning.


- Posted August 20, 2020 by Kathy DeMey (5:34 PM)