Uploading your own data as layers is the best way to customize your map and get insights specific to your location. The different types of layers include points (ex: libraries, bus or subway stops), lines (ex: trails, roads), and polygons (ex: economic districts, custom project areas). 

There are 8 file formats that you can upload. For more information on these, please read Upload Layer Formats. Each layer must contain 5000 features or fewer. The total upload must be less than 50MB in size. 


Uploading a Layer

There are three different ways you can access the Upload a layer page

  1. From the Home page: click New in the upper right corner, then click Layers
  2. From a map: In the left side toolbar, select the Upload a layer button under theTools heading. The name of the tool will appear if you hover over it 
  3. From anywhere: Click Menu at the top left of the screen and then click Layers from the drop down menu. This brings you to the Layers page. Click Upload Layer in the upper right corner

2. An Upload a layer window will appear. Listed below are the eight file formats that you can upload. For more information on the different formats please read Upload Layer Formats. Each layer must contain 5000 features or less. Multiple layers, including different file types, can be zipped together to form one upload. The upload as a whole must be less than 50MB in size. 

  1. Esri Shapefile (all files zipped)
  2. Esri File Geodatabase (.gdb - must be zipped) 
  3. Esri Personal Geodatabase (.mdb)
  4. KML
  5. GML
  6. SQLite Database
  7. GeoJSON
  8. CSV  

3. Drag and drop your layer or zipped folder of multiple layers into the window OR click Choose File to select it from a location on your computer

4. Review the selected file in the grey box to make sure you dropped or selected the correct file. 

5. Choose to make it public or private

  • Private layers are shared within your organization only
  • Public layers are made available to all mySidewalk customers

6. Click Upload. A blue box will appear, sometimes very briefly, that says “Your upload has been received and is currently being processed. This usually takes anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. After processing, your layer(s) will be available to you." 

7. When successful, the Upload a Layer page will now say “Your upload has been processed successfully! It is now available for you to use!” 

  • A notification box in the bottom-left side of the page will also appear saying“Your upload has been processed and is now available to use!”

If your layer did not upload and you receive an error message, find out why -  Common Upload Errors and Solutions

8. Within the Upload interface, you now have 3 options:

  1. Click Upload Another Layer to upload additional layers
  2. Click Go to Layers to view all of your uploaded layers. If you were viewing a map, this will take you out of the map view
  3. Click the Back to Layers or X in the upper right corner to return to the current page

Viewing Your New Layers

1. From the Layers page, click Open in New Map to see your new layer in a map

2. In the map view, select the Layers icon from the left side toolbar, under the heading "Content." With the Layers menu open, there are two subheadings:
     1. Available Layers – Displayed are all of Your Organization’s Layers along with the preloaded mySidewalk Layers
     2. Active Layers – These are the layers that are currently being displayed. You many need to orient to layer to view them. 



Customizing the Appearance of Layers

Now with your own data uploaded into the app, customize the look of your layers. This is done in the map view.

  1. Manage your active layers by checking layers on/off
  2. Change the color and transparency by clicking the square to the right of each layer
  3. Select the field used to label the layer using the dropdown menu below each layer

You now have your own layers uploaded into mySidewalk! Some potential next steps include:

  • Making an uploaded polygon layer into an area of interest
  • Apportioning data to your custom area of interest polygon
  • Adjust layer visibility

To learn more about any of these next steps, please read Layers


If you need additional assistance uploading your data as a layer, send us a message in Chat and we will help you. You may also want to check out:

Upload Layer Formats

Common Upload Errors and Solutions 

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