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Announcing new additions to the SE Layer library!

THURSDAY, DEC 26, 2019

We recently updated our Layer library on Social Explorer, adding a number of exciting new map layers. Head over to our layer library and start exploring nearly eighty new additional layers! Layer your data visualizations with more meaningful insights and get the Social Explorer advantage for your research.

Social Explorer’s sea level rise layer allows you to visualize U.S. geographies facing the threat of unprecedented sea level rise. In New York City for instance, sea level rise due to climate change could have a huge impact on its people, resources, and economy. Click here to explore further.

To start exploring all the brand new map layers on Social Explorer, open the map page and click on the More options button in the Change data menu. Select Map layers from the list of options and then click on the Layer library tab to check out our new layers. Each layer option includes a description of the layer, date of publication, data source, visibility levels, and class of data. Choose as many additional layers as you’d like to add to your map and create stunning visualizations with data-driven insights.

We’ll help you get started with a few examples from our layer library additions:

Sea Level Rise

Although the global sea level has been rising over the past century, the rate of increase in recent decades has become a significant cause for concern. This map layer works like a screening tool, helping researchers monitor the situation and better prepare for the future. Also check out the Flood Zones and Wildfire Potential layers to assess the potential impact of different kinds of natural hazards. 

Zillow Neighborhood Boundaries

The Zillow Neighborhoods layer allows you to minutely parse the geography of your location of interest by using neighborhood boundaries data. This layer draws from a database of over 17,300 neighborhood boundaries in the largest cities of the U.S. From state and county to census block group and congressional districts, explore all our layers for mapping administrative boundaries.

Mapping neighborhoods in Philadelphia with the Zillow Neighborhood Boundaries layer. Click here to explore further.

Bing Building Footprints

This layer contains 125,192,184 computer-generated building footprints across all fifty U.S. states, providing additional insights while analyzing land use patterns. Also explore our other layers such as Historic Places, Local Law Enforcement Locations, and Emergency Medical Service Stations for a more comprehensive analysis of land use patterns.

Power Plants

This map layer contains the environmental characteristics of almost all electric power generated in the United States. Explore a wide range of map layers such as Crude Oil Pipelines, Natural Gas Pipelines, Ethylene Crackers, Coal Mines, Dams and more for visualizing infrastructural features in the United States. 

Mapping power plants across the U.S. with the Power Plants layer. From solar, wind, and hydroelectric to nuclear and geothermal power plants, discover more infrastructural features in the U.S. with this layer. Click here to explore further.

Life Expectancy Estimates

This layer maps estimates of life expectancy at birth produced by the U.S. Small-area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALEEP). Other layers to look out for with a focus on public health, especially healthcare infrastructure, are Hospitals, Nursing Homes, and Urgent Care Facilities in your areas of interest.

The Life Expectancy Estimates layer helps you visualize life expectancy at birth for nearly every neighborhood in the country. Click here to explore further.

Home Owners Loan Corporation Redlining Areas

The HOLC was established in 1933 to evaluate mortgage lending risk. As a result, neighbourhoods considered to be high-risk were often “redlined” and denied access to much needed capital investment and economic opportunities. Explore this and other map layers such as Racially/Ethnically Concentrated Areas of Poverty and Low Transportation Cost Index to gain further insights.

Although the socioeconomic map of America has changed a lot since the days of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, inequality still persists, especially in the HOLC “redlined” areas. In the city of Atlanta, GA, a number of neighborhoods with a higher concentration of African-Americans were redlined as investment risks, some of which have remained poor neighborhoods with low income even today. Click here to explore further.

Ecoregional Portfolio (The Nature Conservancy)

This layer maps the boundaries of areas which The Nature Conservancy has prioritized for conservation. Gain more insights into the United States’ natural resource areas with layers like Freshwater Ecoregions, Endangered Species, Biome Regions and more.

Colleges and Universities Campuses

Map a wide variety of educational institutions in the U.S. from graduate schools to theological seminaries and medical schools to flight training institutes with this layer.


The Airports layer helps you map official operational aerodromes in the United States and U.S. Territories. This geospatial data is derived from the FAA's National Airspace System Resource Aeronautical Data Product.

The Airports dataset includes all official and operational aerodromes as of June 20, 2019, and is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)/Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD). Click here to explore further.

Power your research with these new map layers from the Social Explorer layer library and tell us what you think. Look out for more layers as we keep updating our layer library.

Send us your suggestions, comments and questions to

See also: Head over to this blog post to discover new investment opportunities with our Opportunity Zones layer in the layer library.

Author: Amrapali Saha

Data Insights are Waiting to be Uncovered
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