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Introducing our new Change Over Time feature!

FRIDAY, OCT 04, 2019

What if you wanted to map change in population density over a period of time at the census tract level? Or, show change over time in median household income in a specific neighborhood? Introducing our new feature, Change over time, which allows you to map patterns in demographic and socioeconomic change over a period of time at varying levels of geography.  

Discover trends or changes over time by visualizing the difference in values for the same variable between two different years. Currently, this feature is available only for the ACS 5-Year Estimates from 2010 to 2017, but more data over time will be added regularly.

Change over time

Since all American Community Survey data from 2010 onward is available on the same geographic boundaries and have the same table names, the data can be compared across the years. Our Change over time feature helps you map these changes at the state, county, county subdivision, and census tract levels for all ACS 5-Year Estimates from 2010 to 2017. 

Explore the change over time in median household income in the city of Philadelphia, PA, from 2012 to 2017. Visualize this change over time on a shaded map or a bubble map. Click here to explore further.


For example, if you want to show change over time in population density at the census tract level, go to the map header on the Social Explorer map and click on the calendar icon for Change year, select the Change over time option from the Time period menu and then select the years you’d like to compare. You can also simply switch the map view from one year to another for the same variable by selecting those years from the Single year option.

Here’s how to use the new Change over time feature on Social Explorer maps.

Percent change

This type of visualization illustrates Percent change, which represents the degree of change over time for a particular variable in the form of a percentage. Percent change will display the difference between two numerical quantities as percentage of starting value in the form of a shaded map. This shaded map is visualized using a diverging color scheme, with two contrasting colors representing positive and negative change over time for a particular variable. 

This shaded map illustrates the percent change in population density at the census tract level from 2010 to 2017 on a diverging color palette. Click here to explore further.


Actual change

This type of visualization displays the Difference or actual number change between numerical quantities in the form of a bubble map. The size of each circle corresponds to its value such that the higher the value, the larger the circle. You can also easily determine if change over time has been positive or negative which is indicated by the color of the bubble. 

This map shows the difference in population density at the census tract level from 2012 to 2017 in the form of a bubble map. The orange bubbles represent a decrease in population density and the blue ones denote an increase, while their size corresponds to their value. Click here to explore further.


Try it out

We would love to know how Social Explorer can help you do more with our platform. Try out this exciting new feature and tell us what you think. Use the Feedback option at the top of the map, or send us your suggestions, comments, and questions to feedback@socialexplorer.com.


Author: Amrapali Saha

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