The analyses you can do in mySidewalk are enhanced by integrating your own data. Examples of layers you may want to upload include project areas, economic districts, transit corridors, emergency service points, and many more.

There are eight different file types that you can use to upload your own spatial data. All uploaded files can be points, lines, or polygons (no rasters). Each layer must contain 5000 or fewer features. You can upload as many layers as you want in a zipped file, including different layer types, so long as the total file size is less than 50MB

The different formats are listed below along with how to prepare each type:

1. Esri Shapefile
A shapefile consists of several individual files all with the same name but different file extensions. 

  • Each shapefile must include the file extensions .shp and .prj. We recommend including the other file extensions too. 
  • Multiple shapefiles can be included in the same zipped folder
  • Any m-values or z-values will be ignored

2. Esri File Geodatabase (.gdb – must be zipped)
A File Geodatabase can contain several point, line, and polygon feature classes. By uploading one zipped file geodatabase, all of the contained feature classes are uploaded at once.

  • ArcGIS file geodatabase versions 9.x and 10.x are supported
  • Since a file geodatabase is a folder containing data, you will need to zip the file geodatabase to upload it 
  • Only the point, line, polygon feature classes will upload. No rasters, annotations, or relational tables

3. Esri Personal Geodatabase (.mdb)
A Personal Geodatabase holds several point, line, and polygon feature classes. By uploading a personal geodatabase, all of the contained features classes are uploaded at once.

  • ArcGIS file geodatabase versions 9.x and 10.x are supported
  • All of contents of a personal geodatabase are held in the .mdb file. You can upload the .mdb directly or put it into a zipped folder with other layers to upload.  
  • Only the point, line, polygon feature classes will upload. No rasters, annotations, or relational tables

4. Keyhole Markup Language (.kml)

  • You can upload .kml files that mix points, lines, and polygons 
  • During the upload process, a .kml file that contains a mix of points, lines, and polygons will be split into three. A separate layer for the points, the lines, and the polygons will appear in the app.
  • The .kmz extension will not work, as it is a zipped (compressed) version of a .kml. To use it, simply unzip (extract) the .kmz file and upload the uncompressed .kml

5. Geography Markup Language (.gml)
Uploaded .gml files can be a mix of points, lines, and polygons. During the upload process, a .gml file that contains a mix of points, lines, and polygons will be split into three. A separate layer for the points, the lines, and the polygons will appear in the app.

7. GeoJSON (.json or .geojson)

  • Uploaded geojson files can be a mix of points, lines, and polygons. 
  • During the upload process, a layer that contains a mix of points, lines, and polygons will be split into three. A separate layer for the points, the lines, and the polygons will appear in the app. 
  • The default projection for geojson is WGS84. If the coordinate reference system (crs) either doesn't exist or it contains unrecognizable text, it will default to WGS84

8. Comma Separated Values / Comma delimited (.csv)

  • The first row of your .csv should be the column headers
  • The .csv table needs to have two geography columns, one for the longitude and one for the latitude.  
  • The latitude and longitude must be in separate columns
  • We suggest to give the longitude and latitude columns common names like the examples below. Otherwise, the upload process will attempt to determine which columns contain the coordinates, which may result in the columns not being found or the wrong columns chosen

               point_x, point_y
               longitude, latitutde
               x, y
               long, lat
               lon, lat
               lng, lat

  • The coordinates must be in World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84) reference system 
  • The coordinates must be in decimal degree format. Example: 37.624843, -122.381905 (with each value in a separate column)
  • Do not include text like N/North/Northing or E/East/Easting in the latitude and longitude columns
  • Latitude must be between -90 and 90
  • Longitude must be between -180 and 180 
  • Correct Examples:
  • Incorrect Examples:


Ready to upload your custom layers? See
How to: Upload a Layer for a step-by-step guide

Need more assistance preparing your layers for upload?
Please message us on Chat and one of our team members will help you upload the file. 

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