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How do I change my Default Geography?

Learn how to customize your default geography for reports and some tips for getting data that is available!

Written by Aliyah Hunter
Updated over a week ago

Setting a default geography when you make a new report is a helpful starting point. Orienting your data, visualizations and maps around a geography that is familiar to you will set you on the easiest path to great data storytelling.

Here are a couple of notes to remember as you get started:

  • You can always adjust the geographies of individual maps or charts as needed.

  • Default geographies can be both mySidewalk geographies and custom geographies.

  • You can have more than one default geography in your dashboard. Maps and pie charts will focus on the top geography in the list.

Watch the video below or scroll down for step by step instructions. The Ddefault geographies section ends at about 1 minute and 12 seconds.

When you start a new report (from a template or blank), you will be asked to choose a geography. If you decide later that you want to change that default (or add some more!), use the following steps:

  1. Check out the defaults panel to the right of the page

  2. Click Add Geography

  3. Use the search option to find the geography you wish to add and click on it (choose a couple!).

  4. You'll see it populate under Selected Geographies. Then click Finish Selecting.

Use the pencil icon to edit, the trashcan icon to delete, and the double bar icon to rearrange the order in the menu. 

Pro Tip: Usually we recommend having your most specific geography at the top of your list. If you are displaying three different geographies for your data, the smallest area should be first to ensure it is first in a data visualization.

Troubleshooting Tips: Availability

If you start to see "no data" or "unavailable" messages in data selection or in your components, try selecting a different geography for those components.

Every piece of data is available for specific geographic levels (think state, county or ZIP Code), and sometimes there is variability within each geographic level (for example, data could be available for some ZIP Codes, but not all), so we let you know which geographies will give you data results. So if you're using a city as a default and some components show "no data," try the county or metropolitan area instead!

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