Are you doing research that involves places, but have not yet learned how to use ArcGIS or QGIS? Why not try Social Explore? Social Explore (http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/cul/resolve?clio7334603) is a novice friendly mapping platform. This platform pre-loads data, allowing you to skip data cleaning.
Once you are on the Social Explore website, you are only a few clicks away from a beautiful map. You just need to select a dataset, year, and geographic unit...and boom your map appears right in front of you!
This platform also provides some historical data. Another feature of this platform is that you can both upload your data and download Social Explorer’s data. As you probably know by now, Social Explorer is a good place to start your mapping journey. Take advantage of this great Columbia resource and start making your first map NOW!