Map USA is part of the American Communities Project at Brown University, led by Dr. John Logan. It provides maps and census data at the level of census tracts for the entire nation.
Before you begin, please make sure you are using Internet Explorer higher than 4.7 as your browser. The map will be best displayed with a screen resolution of 1024*768 or higher.
When you enter the system, you begin by choosing a location to begin mapping. Select a state, county, zip code, metropolitan region, or even a specific street address. The system will open a map of that area. You can then use the navigation tools (on the left-hand side) to show a larger or smaller area and to move from side to side. You can return at any time to the original selection page. Then choose a category of variables and a specific variable to map from the menus on the right-hand side of the page.
This is a versatile system. You can turn on or off certain geographic features and boundaries (these are listed on the right-hand side). The “identify” tool lets you see the exact data for a tract by clicking on the tract. The “select by rectangle” tool allows you to download data about a specific set of tracts. The “query” tool allows you to find tracts that meet specified criteria. With the “print” tool you can create a finished map with a title and legend in a separate window, and you can use browser editing tools to copy it to any application. Use the tutorial to become familiar with these options. A help window is available to explain each tool separately.