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Drawing a Custom Boundary in mySidewalk
Drawing a Custom Boundary in mySidewalk

Learn how to make your own boundary area in mySidewalk.

Jennifer Funk avatar
Written by Jennifer Funk
Updated over a week ago

You likely have custom boundaries, unique to your community, that are not captured in the standard list of mySidewalk pre-loaded geographies (Nation, Metropolitan and Micropolitan Areas, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), States, Congressional Districts, Counties, State Senate Districts, State House Districts, Unified School Districts, County Subdivisions, Places (city, town, municipality), ZIP Codes, City Council Districts, Neighborhoods, Census Tracts, Census Block Groups).

mySidewalk provides you with five different options to make your custom boundary. 

Access drawing tools in one of two ways:

  • Click "Geography" in the left navigation bar

  • Choose "Start Drawing" from the top of the Home Page

1. Multi Select: This option lets you define the custom boundary using the mySidewalk geographies.

In this example we choose Zip Codes, but you can choose any of the geographies available. You can then select as many geographies as you need to complete your custom boundary.

Pro-Tip: The selections for your new layer don’t need to be adjacent and the shape types don't need to be the same!

2. Polygon: This option is the most free-form. It allows you to draw any shape you want. The example layer here first changes the background map to traffic and then follows the downtown highway loop in Kansas City, Missouri. 

3. Radius: This allows for a more site specific analysis. If you are trying to understand the context around one particular landmark location, you can use this to select an exact point and create a radius of study around it. 

4. Line with Buffer: A line buffer is the perfect tool for a corridor study. This tool allows the selection of a particular area and then provides the option to establish a buffer around it. In this example, the line is straight and only has a beginning and end point, but the tool is flexible.

Pro-Tip: The line doesn’t need to follow any particular geography. It doesn't need to go north to south and can be more than two points. Get creative!

5. Travel Time Boundary: Creating a boundary using travel times opens up a lot of possibilities within mySidewalk. The tool already allows you to apportion (read: visualize) data based on the custom boundaries you create, so this is another simple way you can create a boundary.

Travel times can be a valuable way to make a boundary and we are making that easier than ever. Use this tool to calculate:

  • Drive times

  • Cycling times, or

  • Walking times

from a single location (or point) on a map.

Have more questions? Watch the video below for a more in-depth walkthrough.

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