When it comes to assessing progress and needs, place matters—at least that’s what the dozens of city leaders we’ve spent hundreds of hours interviewing told us. Adding interactive maps to reports gives you the ability to analyze a geography on the fly and quickly add it to the report. When people can connect the story in a report with the place they live, they engage.

Below are step-by-step instructions on how you can add a map to your report.

A quick note: Our tool assumes it knows where you are based on the place you have associated with your account. You can edit this information at anytime on your report in the "Report Settings" section on the right of your screen—or add more places to look at and compare to the geography you've selected.

Getting Started

  1. On your report (if you are unsure on how to create a report, read this article), select the "+" symbol and then "Map".

2. This will open up our map builder where you can give your map a title, change the map style, reposition its placement in your report, delete, or add in a custom layer. 

Apply Layers (Custom or Pre-Built) to a Map

  1. To add in a map layer, select "Add" in the map edit mode. You will know you are in map edit mode if you can see the "Done" checkmark, "Map Style" button, and the "Add" box. If you are not in map edit mode, move your cursor over the map and select "Edit". 
  2. Next, you'll be asked to "Select mySidewalk Layer" or "Select From your Layers". 
  3. If you "Select mySidewalk Layers", you will be able to include any of the following geographies on your map: States, US Congressional Districts, Metro and Micropolitan Areas, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Counties, State Senate Districts, Senate House Districts, Unified School Districts, County Subdivisions, Places, City Council Districts, Zip Codes, Census Tracts, and Census Block Groups. 

4. If you choose to "Select from Your Layers", you'll be able to pull in a layer you've uploaded or drawn in mySidewalk. 

Customize the Map Style with Base Map Views and Brand Colors

  1. Using the styling options available after you select a layer, you can update the colors to match your community's brand. 

Enrich Your Map with Data Important to Your Report Analysis

  1. In the map editor after you select your layer and geography, select "Analysis". 
  2. Then, for analysis type, select "Choropleth".
  3. Now you can change the type of data displayed on your map (and view its source). 
  4. For some datasets (where it makes sense) you can choose to normalize by: Household (refers to the individuals that make up a household), Housing Unit (refers to the structure itself), or Total Area (acres). 
  5. You may also choose a preferred classification method: Natural Breaks (default), Equal Count, or Equal Interval. 

*Note that adding a choropleth layer will change the styling options on your map. If you'd like something other than the default colors, go back to the "Style" option and reset your colors based on the groupings available. 

When you are finished adding and editing your layer, select "Add Layer". 

Change the Style of your Map

  1. Outside of the colors you've selected for your layers, you can also change the style of your map. Choose from Light, Dark, Streets, Outdoors, Satellite, Satellite Streets, Traffic Day, or Traffic Night.

Add a Title and a Footnote

  1. Be sure to give your map a title so stakeholders know exactly what they are looking at and include any additional content in the footnote. 

When you are finished creating your map select the "Done" checkmark. You can edit and make changes to your map at any time. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can I add more than one layer to a map? Yes! You can add multiple layers to a map. Keep in mind that adding too much may compromise how easy it is to understand your map. As an alternative, you may want to add another map to your report. 
  2. Can I import a map I created outside of reports? At this time, you cannot import a map created in the mySidewalk map tool. We are working on making this possible soon! You can, however, import a map from another report. Simply select the "+" symbol and then "Import". 


See maps in action on these applause-worthy reports. Note that these are reports the mySidewalk staff has created. 


Fire away—we're here to help: [email protected]

Did this answer your question?