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Try Social Explorer’s New and Improved Geo Selection Tools

TUESDAY, JAN 30, 2018

We are constantly striving to make Social Explorer as easy to use as possible, without sacrificing power. And we’re sure you’re going to love the improvements we have made. Buckle up and read on to find out more!

Introducing Improved Selection Tools

Most Social Explorer users are already familiar with our selection toolbox, whether they’re selecting geographies when creating reports or masking areas of interest. Today, we’re announcing two brand new tools: polygon and line selection. The polygon selection tool allows you to draw any shape with straight lines to select features on the map. Click on the map to add points, and when you're done either click the first point or double-click to finish.

rectangle line selection tool

The line selection tool enables you to select features along a multi-point line you draw.

Other Selection Tool Improvements

In addition to introducing two new selection tools, we read all the feedback our users left and went back to the drawing board to figure out how best to implement the suggestions into the existing tools. After copious lines of code, we’re proud to say we took our selection tools to a whole new level.

Selection modes for the Rectangle, Circle, and Polygon tools now include Touching, Enclosed, and Centroid
Touching mode will select every geography included in the shape, even if a single pixel is included in the shape you draw. 

Enclosed mode will select only the geographies included in their entirety in the drawn shape. (Even if a single pixel is left outside the shape you draw, the geography will not be included in the selection.)

Centroid mode selects features whose geographic centroid falls within your selection. The geographic centroids are also displayed on the map as black dots for each feature so you can clearly see what will be included in your selection when done.

Our circle selection tool got even more customizable: you can now manually enter a precise  radius. Simply, select the circle tool, click anywhere on the map, enter the radius, and hit OK. 

circle selection tool

We also added new units of length to the Rectangle and Circle tools. To measure small areas, you can now use yards or even feet. We also added kilometers and meters for all the metric lovers out there. 

Save and Download Your Geography Selections

Selecting geographies can be a pretty straight-forward on the state level. However, when you get down to the finer geographies, such as census tracts, the task can be rather challenging, especially if your selection includes dozens, if not hundreds of geographies. This can get even more gruesome when you need to apply the same selection on a different project. We heard your feedback, and we enabled selection download in the latest update we deployed. 

When you’re done editing the selection, simply click Download and you’ll get a CSV file with all your selected geographies. When you need to use the selection you downloaded, simply drag and drop the CSV file, and the selection will instantly load on the map you’re viewing, regardless of the variable displayed.

Get started with our new selection tools in maps today.

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