Advice and answers from the mySidewalk Team

You've got your account set up, you've logged in, and you're ready to get going. If you want to customize your experience to get the most relevant data about your city in an instant, Location Snapshot is the best place to get started. You can also compare your location against any other location in two-clicks. The best part? You can do all of this without ever looking at a map.

Introduction to Snapshot

Location Snapshots sit at the core of mySidewalk. Think of a Snapshot like a customized data report: you can change it according to your role-type and interests, allowing you to gain a deeper insight about your community in an instant.  Here’s a quick overview of how a Snapshot works: 


How to Use Location Snapshot

  1. From the Home page, click the green All Location Snapshots button. Click a Snapshot of interest from the 18 available categories
  2. If you wish to change the Role Type, Category of interest, or Geography, select from the drop-down menus at the top 
  3. If you want to look at the Location Snapshot for a custom geography, you must first upload your shape, or draw your own custom geography
  4. f you have already completed step 3, your shape should be available for selection under the Custom Geographies column in the Geography drop-down menu)
  5. Please note that viewing a Location Snapshot for custom geographies is only available for layers that include one polygon shape. If you have uploaded a layer with multiple polygons, you must select a single polygon shape to view the Snapshot for it

You’ll instantly see a Summary Data Table based on the Category or Role for your location. Simply click on an individual dataset to see the source and description.


You’ll also find a collection of Charts towards the bottom of your Snapshot. These Charts breakdown datasets into their subgroups, such as breaking household income into different levels or providing the different age groups of your selected population. Click the white circle with three grey dots to the right of each Chart for the source and description.

Introduction to Comparisons

Comparisons allow you to view your city, project area, or community's data against any other location's data. In fact, you can compare up to three geographies at a time. This can add a whole new level of insight into the location you are analyzing, and you may be surprised at the similarities and differences you find between geographies. You can also normalize the data to accurately compare regions of different sizes. Let's learn how to use it:

Add a Geography:

  1. Locate and click Compare to: Add a Comparison right below the map picture in your Location Snapshot
  2. Search for another location or select a Nearby Geography from the list. Please note that the Nearby Geographies feature is not available for custom geographies 
  3. Add additional geographies if desired (up to 5)


You'll instantly see the Summary Data Table update to show a listed comparison of the new location's data to your existing location's data. The Charts will also update to reflect the addition of the new location(s) data.

You'll notice the percentage difference next to the added comparisons. This number shows the percentage increase or decrease as compared to the original geography you selected. 


Sharing Your Answers

Sharing these answers with community members and colleagues is simple. To share the Summary Data Table, print or open as a PDF by clicking on the printer icon at the top. To export the raw data as a CSV, click the export button to the right of that.

To share the Chart, click the white circle with three grey dots to the right of the chart to see the Chart Export Menu. Here you can also change your display preferences of the Chart.


Change Your User Preferences

Find all the relevant data you need in your location, and ready to move on to another area? You'll want to change your user preferences. Here's a few quick steps you can take to ensure that you have the best experience:

  1. Option 1 - From the Home page: Click the grey Change your preferences near the top right corner OR
  2. Option 2 - Click on your Profile Icon drop-down menu at the top right hand of your page. Select User Preferences
  3. Change your Default Category or Role Type by selecting an option from the list
  4. Change your Default Geography, then Save Changes


You now know how to get an overview of all the relevant data available in your city or project area, and how to compare yourself against other geographies. From here, you may want to check out:

  1. Custom Geographies: View, compare, and export data for a custom boundary that doesn’t align with one of mySidewalk’s 14 pre-set geographies  
  2. Templates: learn how to apply mySidewalk's pre-made "data recipes" designed to help you answer specific questions faster
  3. Introduction to Maps: learn about how building a customized map on mySidewalk helps you tell a story about a place using data
  4. Project Folders: learn about how to organize your project in an easy to find location 
  5. Public Profiles: learn about how to communicate and engage others by sharing your findings

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