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Auto-assign geographies in a data upload
Auto-assign geographies in a data upload

Learn how to upload data and georeference it using our auto-matching tool (and GeoID or S-H-ID, a mySidewalk unique identifier)

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

Before you can use S-H-ID or GEOID values in your upload, you need to get the S-H-ID for the geography/region/boundary you are interested in. Use this article to understand how to export that information or use GEOID from the Census Bureau.

What is S-H-ID?

S-H-ID is a unique identifier that mySidewalk uses for geographical boundaries that we understand. It stands for “Spatial Hierarchical IDentifier” and was created as a unique identifier that humans can read (as opposed to a random integer value).

What is GEOID?

GEOID is what the Census Bureau and other agencies use for geographic identification. These are alphanumeric codes that stand for geographical boundaries that we understand.

Why do I need it?

You can use our S-H-ID reference or a GEOID to associate your data with a geographic boundary that already exists in mySidewalk. For example, you can upload data for the state of Missouri using the Missouri S-H-ID (country:us/state:mo) and our upload will automatically assign that data to the shape we know as Missouri.

What that effectively means is that you can use that data within mySidewalk in multiple, powerful ways with this boundary. You can map it easily and alongside mySidewalk data. You can make a correlation to understand how your data is related to data available within mySidewalk. The end result is a way for you to easily use your own data in mySidewalk.

Pro Tip: you can also use S-H-ID or GEOID to upload specific census tracts and block groups which are not currently available through the manual selection.

How do I include it in my Upload?

  1. Find the values that you need for your data ( Learn how to do that here)

  2. You will need to add the S-H-ID or GEOID values to the CSV file that you are going to upload and use “SHID” as the label for the column with these values.

    1. You can usually do this in excel in one of the following ways:

      1. Manually add a column to your .csv and put the appropriate value in the correct row

      2. Create a concatenate formula (excel or google sheets). This is especially useful when everything ahead of the last part is the same. Using zip code as an example, you could make a formula like: =concatenate("country:us/state:ks/zip:", [cell reference]). Once the cell is showing what you want make sure to copy and paste values (on top of your formula) so the csv upload has the right data in it.

      3. Create a vlookup formula. You can 'lookup' the identifier using feature name. After you export from Seek, copy and paste the Seek export into another tab in your spreadsheet, we will assume that tab is named "Sheet2". Manipulate your columns until the Feature Label is the first column and SHID is the second column. We are assuming that the cell that defines your geography is in Cell A2 and B2 is the cell you want to put the S-H-ID or GEOID. In cell B2 (in your original spreadsheet) you will make a formula that looks something like: =VLOOKUP(B2,Sheet2!A:B,2). Again, make sure to copy and paste values so the formula is no longer saved in your .csv.

  3. Follow the typical steps to assign a mySidewalk geography to my data

  4. In the Data preview, you should see the S-H-ID or GEOID values.

  5. Select “Multiple Geographies”.

  6. Confirm that the selected geography is correct, change if necessary. Give your data a name and click “Submit.”


What should I do now?

There are many different things you can do with a georeferenced layer including making a map, a correlation or any component that uses ‘Your Data’.

To manage your data, you can access it from the “Layers” tab. Within that management page, you can assign a label or give it tags to make it easier to find.

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