Geovisualization Developer's Guide

Data Format Guidelines

The datasets uploaded into Geovisualization must be structured into delimited files with the following criteria:

File name
  • *.csv or *.csv.gz
Field delimiter
  • , (comma)
  • ; (semicolon)
  • UTF-8 or ISO8859[1-15](typical Excel and Word encodings)
New line separator
  • \n, \r, and \r\n
Decimal separator for numbers
  • . (dot, not a comma)
Date and Time
  • ISO date time format is guaranteed and the safest option, for example:

    2015-02-27 11:34:00

  • Common long and short formats supported, for example:
    • Friday 27 February 2015 16:42
    • 02.27.2015
    • 27-Feb-2015
  • Latitude and longitude must be expressed in decimal degrees in the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84) datum.
  • Latitude and longitude must be separated into individual columns in the input file. An example of this format would be 52.531111, 13.384722.
  • Coordinates outside of range (latitude ± 90, longitude ± 180) cannot be visualized.


Geovisualization guarantees data uploads within the following guidelines:
  • Files with header in only the first row
  • Files with fields of only letters, numbers and simple string identifiers
The following are not supported and may cause errors or problems:
  • Non-American short date formats
  • Files containing more than 50 columns
  • Column headers not in the first row (for instance, comments or other information); these rows must be removed to ensure that the header is the first row
  • Fields containing HTML or other complex formats
  • Commas for decimal markers; numbers must have decimal points not commas (for example, numbers formatted such as 54,21 are not supported)
  • Non-unique column names in headers; each column must have a name that is not a duplicate of any other column name
  • Headers that have blank column names; if the table has any columns, then each column must have a name

Although latitude and longitude are not mandatory, they are required for map visualizations.


If you receive errors that the formatting of the delimited file is not formatted correctly, then try opening the file in OpenOffice or LibreOffice and resaving it. These applications tend to format delimited files better than Microsoft Office or Google Docs.

The following is an example earthquake dataset containing location information, both latitude/longitude and region names, as well a date-time field and two values for the magnitude and depth of the earthquake:
"Wednesday, September 26, 2012 15:07:51 UTC",64.4679,-148.0767,1.3,11.7
"Wednesday, September 26, 2012 14:40:08 UTC",38.8257,-122.8182,1,4.3
"Wednesday, September 26, 2012 13:14:20 UTC",-5.7696,35.885,4.5,10
"Wednesday, September 26, 2012 12:52:00 UTC",62.1081,-151.4959,1.7,22.6
"Wednesday, September 26, 2012 12:36:51 UTC",37.646,-119.0642,1.1,2.2
"Wednesday, September 26, 2012 12:16:54 UTC",39.5942,-119.2431,1,10.3

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