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Social Explorer

Getting Started with Social Explorer

Starting a new project

1. Create a new project: Once logged in, click on "create a project" and add a title.
2. Create a map: To start, chose your data, geographic area (county, city, census tract), and visualization mode (shading, dot density, as available). [see building a map on Getting Started tab]

3. Tell a story: Once you have one map, click on the "Tell a Story" flag on the bottom right hand corner of the map.  This opens your map with panels that allow you to add multimedia to your map as well as add new maps to your storyboard.

Adding Variables to a Map

Use either Browse by Category or Browse by Survey.   
  1. Select a variable under a bold header, the data is automatically added to your map
  2. Select Change Data.  Checkboxes will appear for data that can be added to the map.  
  3. Place checkboxes to add data to the map.  Only check boxes under the same bold header.
  • Each variable will receive it's own color bar on your map. 
  • If you cross to another variable that can't be combined, the map will change to the new variable and remove the older ones.

Adding resources to a project

Add additional resources: If you'd clicked on "Tell a story," a side bar should pop up on the left hand of the screen. In that menu, you can add image, chart, audio, video, or text. The materials are added to the map, but do not layer on top. When you save this slide and view it, the map remains central and any added resources can be viewed as a lightbox slidehow for presentations. You can add as many elements as you want, all connected to the same map, so you can tell a story about that time and place as part of a longer story that involves multiple maps.
Inline image 5Annotate the map: You can also add points directly to the map and annotate these points with text, image, video, chart or audio. (Like in Google Maps) To do so: in edit mode, go to the menu on the right hand side (it looks like 3 straight lines) - and select "annotate map." This menu box allows you to add points for annotations and add elements. If you choose to use this tool and add annotations to the map, make sure to change some of the "interactive" settings so that your users can click on the points you wish to annotate.
NOTE: These different modes of adding resources may work best for different audiences. The first option is best for presenting your argument to an audience - the presenter is in control and can navigate through the added elements. The second is best for interactive users so that users can explore and learn.


You can build a project with multiple partners.

Do do so, go to the upper right hand menu and click on "Share." In the share window, select the "Collaborate" tab and add in the email addresses of your collaborator(s). The collaborators will receive an email with an invitation to share the project which will include a direct link to the new map. You can invite collaborators at any time.

Once linked in, all collaborators should share access and editorial authority on the map. Be sure to save your work so all efforts are reflected.

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