When you want to work at a scale other than a city or region, you can use the custom project area option when creating your project.  This option allows you to create infill projects, corridor redevelopment projects, and even create projects with multiple study areas. 

Lesson Overview

Step One - Create a New Project

Select and open the Project Menu. Select "Create Project".

This will open the Project Creation dialog. 

Now, select "Upload a Polygon Boundary" from the Project Area section

Step 2 - Upload a Polygon Boundary

UrbanFootprint requires the custom project area to be a shapefiles containing one or more polygons defining the project area.

Using geojson.io to Create a Custom Project Area

If you need to create the custom project boundary, we recommend using geojson.io.

The process of creating a new geometry is simple: find the area that you would like to study by either zooming to it or using the Address Search button at the top of the application and make a selection.

To create your study area, use either the polygon or box tool.

After you have created the project areas, select Save and then select "Shapefile" to download a zipped shapefile.


The image below represents the entire process of creating a shapefile for a custom project area for the area around the Salton Sea in California. The following steps are taken:

  1. Zoom to the area of interest
  2. Select the rectangular selection tool
  3. Use the rectangular selection tool to create the project boundary.
  4. Save as a shapefile

Step 3 - Upload and Rename your Shape File

To upload the shapefile containing the custom project area, select the Upload Area to open your computers file chooser, or drag-and-drop the file into the Upload Area. UrbanFootprint will automatically upload the shapefile.

The Upload Area outline will turn green once the layer has been uploaded successfully. 

By default, the project canvas name will be set to the name of the shapefile.  If you would like to change the canvas name, you can enter a new name.

Just as with creating projects based on place names, you can choose base the project on census blocks or parcels. 

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