Add Informative Maps to Your Presentations

The dark blue indicates that over two-thirds of the households have a home computer.
The dark blue indicates that over two-thirds of the households have a home computer.

In your marketing class, you may be developing a marketing plan for a pre-made meals restaurant specializing in vegetarian menus in Chicagoland. How do you learn where the highest percentage of people who purchase Boca Burgers live in Cook County?

Maybe you are working with an elder services agency in Des Moines and would like to provide computer classes for senior citizens across the state, but the question is where would be the best place to hold the classes?

The answer is in Simply Map. SimplyMap is a web-based mapping application that lets you quickly create professional-quality thematic maps and reports, using the thousands of US demographic, business and marketing data variables.

Dark blue indicates where there is a high number of retired people.
Dark blue indicates counties with a high number of retired people.

What Information Does Simply Map Contain?
SimplyMap contains thousands of socio-demographic, business and marketing variables.  Data comes from US government sources (Census, Labor Statistics, e.g.), as well as Market and Quality of Life data from EASI Inc., and Dun & Bradstreet “Points of Interest” data.

Most data sets are available down to the block group level, a geographic level used by the Census Bureau that is smaller than zip codes, although there is zip code data also.

What Does Simply Map Do?
Maps can be created and saved within the program, then made into Powerpoint slides, added to Word documents, put on the web, etc.

Dark red shows counties with a high number of retired people AND where over two-thirds of the households own a computer.
Dark red shows counties with a high number of retired people AND where over two-thirds of the households own a computer.

Custom data tables can be created then exported in Excel spreadsheet format, and can also be downloaded as shapefiles-with-data that can then be put into a desk-top mapping program, such as ESRI’s ArcMap.   Maps can then be created in ArcMap from SimplyMap’s shapefiles-with-data, with no need to join the data to existing Arcmap tables.

Who Uses Simply Map?
SimplyMap is of use to those interested in the demographics of large and small geographic areas of the US, e.g., sociologists, political scientists, journalists, business and marketing students and faculty.  In addition, the data would be of use to life scientists who need background information for their demographic studies.  SimplyMap includes 1980, 1990, and 2000 Census data, adjusted to 2000 census geographies, as well as 2006 and 2007 estimates and 2012 projections.  1970 census data will be available in future, but will not be geographically adjusted.

How Do I Use Simply Map?
This resource is available to individuals affiliated with the University of Iowa.  To use SimplyMap, type “simplymap” into the Smart Search box on the Libraries website (if you’re off campus, you’ll need to type in your HawkID and password). You can create a personal workspace by clicking  on “Create Personal Workspace” and entering your e-mail address and a password. SimplyMap will then send a confirmation e-mail to your e-mail address – please click on the link in this e-mail to activate your account.

Can I Work on Group Projects in Simply Map?
Yes.  All members of your project group can share the same SimplyMap personal workspace and do collaborative work.

Can I Add My Own Data to Simply Map?
Yes.  At this point, you should send your geographical-based data set to SimplyMap, and they will put it on the web.  In future, users will have the capability to upload their data directly.

For any questions about Simply Map and how to use it, please contact Maps Librarian Mary McInroy in the UI Libraries Map Collection.