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How to get my custom geography/region(s) into mySidewalk
How to get my custom geography/region(s) into mySidewalk

Learn how you can add custom geographies specifically oriented towards your community.

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

Have a custom boundary that isn’t reported in the Census? Maybe it's an economic district, traffic analysis zone, neighborhood improvement boundary, or even just a buffer zone around a new project site or existing point. We've got you.

What is a custom geography in mySidewalk?

mySidewalk has geographies already built into the platform. These include 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, 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. Things like Opportunity Zones, Development Districts or Parks might not be maintained by mySidewalk but interesting to you. The platform allows several ways to create and utilize custom geographies: Draw, Upload, Travel Times.

What can I do once I have a custom geography?

You can use your custom geography to apportion mySidewalk data to the shape you created. Within mySidewalk data selection, look for data that is Available For ‘custom layers’ and use it to find demographic information relevant to your custom boundary. Choose a dataset available for custom layers and then change the geography to one from the custom geographies list to apportion it.

Draw a new boundary

If you are looking to add a custom shape to your report or dashboard such as the boundaries of a park or a specific zone or neighborhood, you can utilize the Draw option. This will allow you to create a custom geography which will also have the benefit of pulling data from the mySidewalk data library by default. Draw includes tools like multi select, polygon, radius, line, and box.

Access Draw by clicking Start Drawing from the Quick Start menu OR click "Geography" in the navigation bar (icon of a polygon).

To learn more about drawing your own custom geography, click here.


If you are looking to create a custom geography from a spreadsheet, .csv, or from your own shapefiles, you can add these to mySidewalk through the Upload option. If you have data available in a file that could easily be dropped into GIS, you should have no trouble dragging and dropping it into the upload layer section.

Access Upload by clicking "Upload" in the Navigation bar (icon of arrow pointing up) and then choosing Upload Layer.

To learn more about uploading a geography, click here.

To learn more about what file types you can use to upload a layer, click here.

Note for Seek Only Customers:

You will not be able to create custom geographies on your own. Please reach out through the chat or to your mySidewalk representative to ask about creating custom geographies!

Request Assistance

Having trouble? The mySidewalk team is here to help! 

We all want geoprocessing to be as easy as dragging and dropping the data, but sometimes it isn’t that easy. Luckily for you, we have a team of people here who are experts in getting data into our app. All we need from your team is the data files you want to include and some basic information about that data. To request assistance you’ll go to the Layers page from the menu on the left, navigate to Add Layer on the top right, then click Request Assistance. From there, you’ll be prompted to answer a few short questions about your data. The mySidewalk team will then work their magic and get back to you with your new data layer as soon as possible. 

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