April 2021

New Navigation Experience

Improved layout to get where you need to go.

We updated our main menu to make it easier for you to access key features, with a quick start menu and direct access to Seek, Data, Reports/Dashboards, and Upload.

The pages should be familiar but with fewer clicks to get where you need to go. We have also organized the icons in a top-down approach to start with mySidewalk data (Seek), your own data (Data), upload new boundaries and data (Geography and Upload) and then create Reports (Publisher) with all the data you have discovered!

Open up Seek

Getting Started | Navigation Overview

mySidewalk and Your Data: Better Together

You can now use your own georeferenced data alongside mySidewalk data in bivariate maps and correlations.

Once you georeference your data, you can start to leverage the power of your data PLUS mySidewalk data! A correlation or a bivariate map can be created to leverage census data for your specific community needs and values. We want to give you the power of the census to be built into great stories for your local arena.

How to Georeference Travel Times

Make a correlation | Bivariate Maps

March 2021

Leverage Travel Time for custom geographies

Use Isochrones to create a travel time boundary to be used in mySidewalk.

Creating a boundary using travel times opens up a lot of possibilities within mySidewalk. You might want to know the service boundary around a fire station or hospital based on a 15 minute travel time. Or, you might like to understand the demographics within a 5 minute bike time from your proposed new office location.

No matter what you want to know, travel times can be a valuable way to make a boundary and we are making that easier than ever.

How to Create Travel Times

Logged-in? Get hands-on with a tour.

Keep finding and using local data fast

🔍 Seek helps you find and export data directly to your computer or to a map.

To complement the improvements in February, we continue to listen to feedback and improve Seek to make it fast and easy to use.

  • We now ask if you want to load your previous Seek or start a new one. This enables you to keep working even after some time away, or working in a report.

  • We have turned on the ability to add the “primary geography” when looking at subgeographies. This can give much needed context of the size of something when looking at the smaller pieces. Keep in mind that the primary geography is not a sum.

Open up Seek

What is Seek? | How to Get Started

February 2021

We've launched an exciting lineup of new features to enhance your experience, focusing on improvements to searching and downloading community data, uploading and visualizing your own data without GIS experience, and providing more accessible and flexible sharing tools for your publications.


Find, reference, and start using local data faster.

🔍 Seek helps you find and export data directly to your computer or to a map, and enhanced searched features help you explore what's available to use.

We've enjoyed hearing the response to Seek since we first launched the tool last year, and are particularly grateful to hear how much it's already helped so many of you access and use community data. To summarize just a few thoughts we heard:

  • "I wish I had it this morning. I just pulled the SNAP rates for all our counties and it took me hours. This took minutes."

  • "This will be useful with the policy and legislative aspects of our work!"

  • "The download feature is amazing. We can already think of people we need to train internally and let them know this is available."

But we also know we can keep making it better.

Your input has been helpful in understanding how we can keep improving to break down barriers to using important community data regardless of prior knowledge. Here are the latest improvements we've made to enhance the Seek and Data Library experiences in mySidewalk:

  • We've updated the search process to provide a source information toggle as you search through the Data Library, making it easier to see detailed source info.

  • When searching with a particular subgeography in Seek, some data may unavailable at your selected granularity but available at a different geography level. When this occurs, you can now preview alternative geographies available.

  • Rather than having to leave Seek and create a report or dashboard to visualize something you found, you can now create a map directly from Seek.

What is Seek? | How to Get Started

Upload and visualize your data quicker with georeferencing.

🗺 Match uploaded data to one of mySidewalk's defined geography layers to easily map and visualize your own data without GIS experience.

We know visualizing the data you upload to mySidewalk is a top need for our users, and we've been working on enhancements that remove friction points in your way to unlocking insight. The georeferencing tool lets you upload data that doesn't already have spatial information, allowing you to match values to our pre-defined geographies. Simply upload, assign, and visualize.

By assigning your data to mySidewalk's predefined geographies, you can:

  • Visualize your data with more power, flexibility, and ease. You don't need to be a mapping or GIS expert, or even have a shapefile to start working with your data.

  • Skip third-party tools or hunting for longitudes/latitudes. Assign one or multiple geographies with a few clicks, or use a unique identifier to do it automatically.

  • You can create time series with your uploads to analyze information over time and even correlate to data in our Data Library.

Best Practices | Step-by-Step Tutorials | Auto Match Geographies with SHID

Bring data insight to everybody with color accessibility.

🎨 Create color palettes that meet WCAG compliance so your data reports & visualizations don't leave out members of your community.

mySidewalk prides itself on the ability to deliver data experiences that are accessible and useable by every person in a community. It's why we're committed to accessibility standards in our work, driving our philosophy to raise the standards of the data experience. Responsive design and compatibility with assistive tech like screen readers and text-to-braille software are built-in when you publish with mySidewalk, but how about the colors you use? Our own designers use tools to ensure we pick colors appropriately, but you shouldn't need to be an expert to create engaging, inclusive designs that don't leave people out.

We developed the new Accessibility Color Palette Generator to enable you with the control to lead data communications with true accessibility in all your work:

  • Check headline and body copy text for appropriate contrast. The WCAG AA compliance checker gives instant feedback to let you know if your colors pass or fail proper accessibility standards.

  • Create entire new palettes from just 1 or 2 colors. The Multi-Hue, Single-Hue, and Divergent options let you create a set of colors that work well together.

  • Preview your palette for colorblindness. The color blind preview generates an instant view of your colors on a chart and map so you can preview what viewers with Tritanopia, Deuteranopia, and Protanopia will see and optimize for inclusiveness.

🎉 Dashboard page PDFs, automatic source footnotes, & more.

In addition to our highlights, we've made some requested improvements you may have noticed recently:

  • Save individual dashboard pages as PDFs, along with improved performance.

  • Edit and Preview / View your content in a simpler view, with a single link that serves as a preview when your report is unpublished, as well as the published link when you choose to do so.

  • Use automatic data source references in addition to custom footnotes, so you're providing transparency and citation as you work.

📈 Remain up-to-date with the latest community data available.

This year so far, we've updated data from the CDC, Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Census, and Department of Housing to name a few. Recent updates include:

  • Small-area health outcomes & risk factor data (now available nation-wide!)

  • Monthly local unemployment rates

  • Single-parent income spent on transportation and housing

  • Number of jobs available by industry, motor vehicle crash fatalities, & more

Logged-in? Get hands-on with our last Data Summary tour.

Did this answer your question?