mySidewalk has geographies already built into the platform. These include States, US Congressional Districts, Metro- and Micropolitan Areas, Counties, State Senate Districts, State House Districts, Unified School Districts, County Subdivisions, Places, City Council Districts, ZIP Codes, Census Tracts, and Census Block Groups. While these geographies help express differences and boundaries that make up space, there are custom geographies, unique to your community, that are not captured in these established boundaries. The mySidewalk App gives five different options for drawing custom layers. 

1. Multi Select: This option allows for the development of a new layer based on existing geographies. In this example we choose Census Tracts to make our new layer, but you can choose any of the geographies available. You can then select as many geographies as you need to complete your study area. Pro-Tip: The selections for your new layer don’t need to be adjacent. 

2. Polygon: This option is the most free-form of the new layer tools. It allows you to draw a tool in any shape you want. The example layer here follows the downtown highway loop in Kansas City. MO. 

3. Radius: This allows for a more site specific analysis. If you are trying to understand the context of the area directly around one particular landmark location this tool provides the ability 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, go north to south, or only be two points. Get creative!

5. Square: This tool creates a square or a rectangle layer. This tool is not very flexible. In most cases, we recommended that you use the polygon tool for more flexibility, but if you need a measurable square or rectangle area this tool will do the trick.

Have more questions? Watch the video below for a more in-depth walkthrough of how to draw a layer in mySidewalk.

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