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Mapping Sheets add-on FAQ & Support

Current Issue !!! (reported on Dec.15, 2014 - fixed for SandboxMode.NATIVE on Dec.22)
We have rolled back to SandboxMode.NATIVE to avoid this issue
**** Mozilla Firefox version 34 should not have this problem now.
>> If you are using Mozilla Firefox version 34, you might be affected for a current issue between add-ons and Firefox 34
see the link below for more details, as reported a few days ago, please star it to get more attention
>>  the meantime, as a workaround, you could use the Google Chrome browser instead.

Short list of current topmost FAQ and requests
  1. Exceeding daily Geocoding service quota: More than a few users are getting a warning about "Service invoked too many times for one day: geocode." There is not too much we can do in this case, other than wait until next day. Geocoding service quota get usually cleared after 24 hours or so. Learn more about Geocoding service quota.

  2. This add-on relies on the use of a public folder within your Google Drive account, to host the mapping webpage and your data files. Some users within a Google Apps domain might need to change their sharing settings, allowing documents with public visibility, to use this add-on, if the their domain administrator has disabled this option. Learn more about the public folder requirement.
If you can not find a solution to your problem or question below, please submit your feedback, using this form.
Also check our Reference document, with tons of details.

Mapping Sheets Support ‎‎(Feedback Form)‎‎



Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to embed a map from Mapping Sheets add-on in a web page? We often get this kind of question:Q: Is it possible to embed the maps in a html page? what could be the specific code?A: We have tested a ...
    Posted Nov 10, 2014, 5:46 AM by Faustino Rodriguez
  • How many locations can I plot on a map? Using Mapping Sheets add-on you can plot as many locations as you can fit in a 10 MB (megabytes) data file.We have seen up to 30,000 locations ...
    Posted Oct 26, 2014, 8:30 AM by Faustino Rodriguez
  • Can I trust this add-on, is it safe to use? We have received just a handful of questions like this one, however we believe it might be in many other's mind.This is always going to be an open ...
    Posted Apr 7, 2014, 8:04 AM by Faustino Rodriguez
  • Warning: Problem creating a public folder This is one of the two most common warnings, some users are getting. We are putting together some notes, references, and comments here, with the promise of updating this post ...
    Posted Nov 8, 2014, 1:12 PM by Faustino Rodriguez
  • Exception: Service invoked too many times for one day: geocode This is one of the two most common warnings, some users are getting. We are putting together some notes, references, and comments here for further reference, with the promise of ...
    Posted Mar 27, 2014, 10:13 AM by Faustino Rodriguez
  • What if I already have some map coordinates: latitude and longitude? The new feature allowing optional Latitude and Longitude columns on the Data sheet, is available since version 1.101sv9 (although not well documented until now)This is how this ...
    Posted Jun 24, 2014, 8:45 AM by Faustino Rodriguez
  • What is that hidden Geocoding sheet for? On each spreadsheet using the Mapping Sheets add-on, a new - hidden by default - sheet will be created with name Geocoding.This is a system sheet acting as a cache ...
    Posted Mar 4, 2014, 10:09 AM by Faustino Rodriguez
  • What if I already have my data in a Google spreadsheet? The Mapping Sheets add-on requires a sheet named Data, which holds all the information for mapping.In your case, you can simply rename your sheet as Data, before launching ...
    Posted Mar 4, 2014, 10:10 AM by Faustino Rodriguez
  • Why do I need those 3 column headers for mapping? Among the many columns you can have in your Data sheet for mapping, there are 3 key columns that play a special role in your map: Title, Filter, and Location ...
    Posted Mar 8, 2014, 2:36 PM by Faustino Rodriguez
  • How do I enter my own data? There are several ways to enter your own data. Here's the easiest way to begin.For a new spreadsheet using the Mapping Sheets add-on, you will be asked ...
    Posted Mar 4, 2014, 10:11 AM by Faustino Rodriguez
Showing posts 1 - 10 of 10. View more »

How to embed a map from Mapping Sheets add-on in a web page?

posted Nov 10, 2014, 5:12 AM by Faustino Rodriguez   [ updated Nov 10, 2014, 5:46 AM ]

We often get this kind of question:
Q: Is it possible to embed the maps in a html page? what could be the specific code?

A: We have tested a couple of solutions for embedding the map within a html page, that might work for you

1. Simple HTML -- see demo http://jsfiddle.net/eB8j2/1

<div>
    <object type="text/html" data="https://googledrive.com/host/0B3cHzjGxAYvnTkdmOEZXdkJta0k/xsMapping.html?f=foglioDiLavoroFiddle.Data.json" width="800px" height="600px" style="overflow:auto;border:5px ridge blue"></object>
</div>

2. Using jQuery -- see demo http://jsfiddle.net/7ZM8q/1

HTML section
<div id="siteloader"></div>

JavaScript section
$("#siteloader").html('<object data="https://googledrive.com/host/0B3cHzjGxAYvnTkdmOEZXdkJta0k/xsMapping.html?f=foglioDiLavoroFiddle.Data.json" />');

CSS section
html, body {
    height: 100%;
}
div {
    height: 99%;
}
object {
    width: 100%;
    min-height: 100%;
}  

3. Using iFrame 
This could be another option, but we haven't tried it yet

How many locations can I plot on a map?

posted Oct 26, 2014, 8:30 AM by Faustino Rodriguez   [ updated Oct 26, 2014, 8:30 AM ]

Using Mapping Sheets add-on you can plot as many locations as you can fit in a 10 MB (megabytes) data file.

We have seen up to 30,000 locations, however you can hit the 10 MB file size limit with a smaller number, depending on the amount of information you are including on the map (number of columns and amount of data in your sheet)

This add-on create a data file (those *.json files within your Google Drive xsMapping folder) holding all the details that are later shown in the mapping web page. That's the file that cannot go over 10 MB in size.

So far, this limitation has only affected 9 users.

Currently, this 10 MB file size limit is a limitation within Google Apps Script when calling the Google Drive API, either using a Script function or Advanced Drive Services. We opened a support ticket issue with Google around this limitation, that resulted similar with an older one addressing the same problem, even though still open, it looks like that 10 MB limit is not going to be increased.

Other notes around plotting many locations
> You might have to wait a few days to complete your map, if hitting the Geocoding daily quota limit
> As long as the mapping page is using client side browser technology, the performance might be affected with many thousands markers in the map, particularly on the initial loading.
> If you hit and cannot avoid the 10 MB file size limit, you might consider a solution around Google Fusion Tables alternative. Please, let us know if that the case, to discuss how we can help you on that.

Can I trust this add-on, is it safe to use?

posted Apr 7, 2014, 8:04 AM by theXS Assistant   [ updated Apr 7, 2014, 8:04 AM by Faustino Rodriguez ]

We have received just a handful of questions like this one, however we believe it might be in many other's mind.

This is always going to be an open question, because of valid user's concerns, and also for the developers to work on improvement and building trust.

Q. Can I trust the Mapping Sheet add-on, is it safe to use?

A. That's a very fair question, the same I would ask myself on this scenario.
Our short answer: yes, it is safe to use, you can trust this add-on.

However, that's not enough, you have to do your own research, and come to your own conclusions.
You have to trust the developer / organization behind the application

Whenever privacy is a concern, specially when the organization is holding other's people information, getting into this type of applications (namely add-on now) is very tricky, to say the least.

Trust in the Cloud is critical, and it requires time and transparency.

On this type of add-on, there is an advantage around the fact that everything is happening within the user's Google account. There is no data on third party servers, nor the developer has the chance to access anything. Although the script does have access: there is, where the trust is built.

Find below a few statements in favour of that trust:
  1. We disclosed in the documentation, what the add-on does under each of your permissions, check under "Privacy, Security and Authorization"
  2. All the data you manage with this add-on stays within your Google account, more details on the same document under "In Detail - installation and user guide"
  3. The add-on only access the spreadsheets where you use the add-on, and only create files within the add-on folder (xsMapping) in your Google Drive account
  4. The only user information that is sent out of your Google account is your email address, for logging purposes. The add-on log file is a private file under the developer domain account.
  5. We cannot as persons, have access to any of the information on your account
  6. You can find real names, address, phone number, company, etc, behind this add-on
  7. Last but not least, we were part of the first add-ons at Google add-ons launch, what is not an endorsement, but it might be considered a hint on good reputation

** If there is anything else we can say or do to gain your trust, please let us know **


Other versions of this fundamental question:
Is this safe to use?  The permissions popup mentioned it has access to my spreadsheets and it also connects to an external service. Is there any way to ensure my data isn't being sent to you?
How does the add-on developer build the trust necessary for an organisation to authorise things like 'manage my drive'?


Warning: Problem creating a public folder

posted Mar 27, 2014, 12:33 PM by Faustino Rodriguez   [ updated Nov 8, 2014, 1:12 PM ]

This is one of the two most common warnings, some users are getting. We are putting together some notes, references, and comments here, with the promise of updating this post as we learn more and adapt the add-on around this public folder requirement.

Is this a bug, an error, a malfunction of the Mapping Sheet add-on?
I would say, no.
However, it is a requirement that might become a limitation, specially for Google Apps accounts, when the domain administrator has disabled the public sharing settings.

Why is that public folder a requirement for this add-on?
  1. Mapping Sheets add-on relies on the use of a public folder within your Google Drive account, to host the mapping webpage and your data files.
  2. That folder needs public visibility and view permission, for this add on to work. It is a technical requirement for hosting the mapping page and the data files. Learn more about public folders on this Google post "Host webpages with Drive"
  3. The add-on will create the mapping folder (with name xsMapping) within your Google Drive account, and set the required sharing settings (public visibility and view permission). Learn more about visibility options on this Google post on "How to share"
Where are those sharing settings and how to change them?
  1. First, you need access to the add-on feature to install the Mapping Sheets add-on. This feature is enable by default, if you have any problem check this link with your domain administrator, to fix this issue. Go Admin console > Google Apps > Drive > General settings > Allow users to install Google Docs add-ons.


  2. Second, you need permission to install third-party Google Drive apps. This feature is enable by default, but it your domain administrator disabled it, you might get a message like "Exception: Action not allowed". Please, check this link with your domain administrator, to fix this issue. Go Admin console > Google Apps > Drive > General settings (or Data Access, if Unlimited) > Allow users to install Google Drive apps.

  3. By default, Google Apps domains allow for public sharing as shown in the image below. Accordingly, unless the domain administrator has changed those settings, the Mapping Sheets add-on should work fine on your account


  4. If you get that "Warning: Problem creating a public folder" and decide to change those settings back to default, you will need somebody with administrator access to your domain, if you are not an administrator

  5. A domain administrator can follow the steps on this Google post about "Document sharing options"
How exposed is my data on that public folder?
  1. Your primary data within the Google spreadsheet is private and it is not on that public folder
  2. The folder and its content can be accessed by anyone who has the link
  3. The add-on folder even though "public", is some how hidden behind that long and entangled (discombobulated, as a user pointed out) folder Id, as you probably has noticed
  4. Additionally, you can delete the add-on folder at any time, to generate a new one, with a different Id, if you believe it is compromised
  5. Starting on version 1.101sv10 we have included a robots.txt file within the mapping folder (xsMapping) to avoid search engines indexing the data files, increasing the privacy of your information. The content on that robots.txt file is currently as shown below, while we are still looking for ways to improve it
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /
  6. We are already working on alternatives to have the option for private data files, but still not there
  7. We always welcome your suggestions

Exception: Service invoked too many times for one day: geocode

posted Mar 27, 2014, 10:13 AM by Faustino Rodriguez   [ updated Mar 27, 2014, 10:13 AM ]

This is one of the two most common warnings, some users are getting. We are putting together some notes, references, and comments here for further reference, with the promise of updating this post as we learn more about this quota limit.

Is this a bug, an error, a malfunction of the Mapping Sheet add-on?
I would say, no.
However, it is a limitation, specially for Gmail accounts, when mapping "too many" markers at once (in one day).

This warning is related with the Google Geocoding service daily quota limit.

More details about Geocoding service daily quota:
  1. There is a daily quota limit on the number of calls to the Google Geocoding service (used to convert an address into numeric map coordinates, Latitude / Longitude) from each user
  2. When you hit that quota limit, there is not too much you can do, other than wait until next day
  3. Geocoding quota usually gets cleared after 24 hours or so.
What the add-on does to optimize the use of your Geocoding service quota?
  1. If the location (address) is empty (blank) in your data sheet, the add-on will not call the Geocoding service
  2. Only new addresses will call the Google Geocoding service and count against your quota, because the add-on keeps a hidden sheet with name Geocoding within your spreadsheet. This sheet is acting as a cache repository for all calculated coordinates (latitude, longitude). Find more details on this FAQ
  3. The add-on skips any address that won't return OK from the Geocoding service and keeps going, showing a "Warning: Problem mapping these addresses" when finished. Please, review and fix those addresses
Other recommendations around the Geocoding:
  1. If you haven't been able to see your map yet, because you have too many items in your list, check the Geocoding sheet to see how many you have already saved there, and have an idea on how long would be take
  2. If you get a "Warning: Problem mapping these addresses", please fix o clear them to avoid using your quota on those no valid addresses.
  3. If you already have the numeric map coordinates (Latitude and Longitude) for all or some of the items in your list, there is a way of using them, instead of calling the Geocoding service.
  4. If you hit that daily quota limit but you cannot wait until next day to complete your map: you can share the spreadsheet with another Google account (if you feel it's suitable) and continue / complete the Geocoding from there
Other things the add-on does to optimize the use of your Geocoding service:
  1. There is a small delay between each Geocoding calls, to avoid another possible quota limit ("Exception: Service invoked too many times in a short time: geocode"). Currently that delay is 100 ms, and so far we are not getting that error
  2. There is a cap on the number of Geocoding calls per session, just trying to stop before a possible quota limit, and also to avoid a timeout error. Currently that cap is 650 calls per session. If you hit that cap, you will get a "Warning: Too many calls in one session". Please, be aware that keep building the map after this warning, might get you to exceeding your daily quota limit

What if I already have some map coordinates: latitude and longitude?

posted Mar 27, 2014, 9:01 AM by Faustino Rodriguez   [ updated Jun 24, 2014, 8:45 AM ]

The new feature allowing optional Latitude and Longitude columns on the Data sheet, is available since version 1.101sv9 (although not well documented until now)

This is how this feature works:
  • Assuming you already have a set of numeric map coordinates (Latitude and Longitude) for some or all your data
  • These two coordinates have to be in a valid numeric format (it is the only way it works)
    • example of valid numbers: 43.450471, -79.200666
    • but not in other formats like
    • 43.450471N, 79.200666W << invalid
    • 43°27'01.7"N 79°12'02.4"W << invalid
  • Latitude must be between -90 and 90, excluding the extremes
  • Longitude must be between -180 and 180, including the extremes
  • You need to add a couple of extra columns (Latitude and Longitude) on your Data sheet, and enter your coordinates there. The headers (in row #1) for these two extra columns must have exactly those names: Latitude and Longitude
  • The column you select for Location (Address) in the sidebar dialog will only be used if there is no Latitude / Longitude for that particular line
  • The table below is a valid example from a sample spreadsheet
    • in this case, the add-on will use the provided map coordinates (Latitude and Longitude) for Miles and Ferguson
    • but calculate (Geocoding) the coordinates for the other three addresses.
NameCategoryAddressCompanyLatitudeLongitude
Miles LewisManagement Consultants865 Chestnut Street, Mississauga, ONLetpro43.450471-79.200666
Peggy McknightManagement Consultants313 Elliott Place, Mississauga, ONPolarax
Ferguson SparksTravel Agencies705 Canda Avenue, Mississauga, ONExtragene00
Forbes RiddleTravel Agencies234 Powers Street, Mississauga, ONEarthwax
Cornelia DanielAerospace and Aviation841 Murdock Court, Mississauga, ONDigiprint


What is that hidden Geocoding sheet for?

posted Mar 1, 2014, 6:40 PM by Faustino Rodriguez   [ updated Mar 4, 2014, 10:09 AM ]

On each spreadsheet using the Mapping Sheets add-on, a new - hidden by default - sheet will be created with name Geocoding.

This is a system sheet acting as a cache repository for coordinates (latitude, longitude). This sheet will hold the coordinates for already used addresses / locations on each spreadsheet, so the add-on does not have to call the Google Geocoding service each time, what could result in exceeding your quota limits for this service.

You can show that sheet using the menu View > Hidden sheets (1) > Geocoding

What if I already have my data in a Google spreadsheet?

posted Mar 1, 2014, 10:22 AM by theXS Assistant   [ updated Mar 4, 2014, 10:10 AM by Faustino Rodriguez ]

The Mapping Sheets add-on requires a sheet named Data, which holds all the information for mapping.
In your case, you can simply rename your sheet as Data, before launching the Mapping Sheet add-on in that particular Google spreadsheet.

The add-on will recognize your sheet Data as the information source for mapping. You only have to select which column you will use for Title, Filter, and Location and then Build and View as usual.

Here, we used an existing data sheet with the following headers:

Then we selected Contact for Title, Group for Filter, and Place for Location, as you can see below:

Why do I need those 3 column headers for mapping?

posted Mar 1, 2014, 9:05 AM by theXS Assistant   [ updated Mar 8, 2014, 2:36 PM by Faustino Rodriguez ]

Among the many columns you can have in your Data sheet for mapping, there are 3 key columns that play a special role in your map: Title, Filter, and Location.
Let's use a few images to illustrate this better.

1. Columns in your Data sheet can have any name and order, it's up to you. Here's the sample data we use for testing:


2. Now we have to select which of those columns we are going to use for Title, Filter, and Location on the add-on sidebar. In this case we will use Name, Category, and Address.
If you have changed the headers in the Data sheet and still don't see them in the list, click on  icon to refresh the lists.


3. Let's comment on the roles and restrictions of each one.

Title: The information from the column you choose will appear as the header of the info window that pops up when you click on a marker, and also as part of the tool tip that appears when you move your mouse over a marker. Look for "Miles Lewis" in the image below.


Filter: This is usually a column you could use to group your data under specific labels or categories. In our sample data, it is the type of industry, but it could be anything. On your map, you will see the values from this column as check boxes for filtering your data on the map. In the image below, we have filtered the map so it only shows the markers from the categories "Management Consultants" and "Travel Agencies".


Location: This is the key piece of information to place a marker on the map. It has to be something that can be converted into a pair of coordinates (latitude and longitude). That being said, it could be a simple address or a name for a location.
Note: For privacy reasons, the addresses on our sample map are not real; they are associated with random coordinates within the city of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

How do I enter my own data?

posted Feb 28, 2014, 8:02 PM by Faustino Rodriguez   [ updated Mar 4, 2014, 10:11 AM ]

There are several ways to enter your own data. Here's the easiest way to begin.

For a new spreadsheet using the Mapping Sheets add-on, you will be asked to create a sheet named Data to hold your information. You'll have the option of using some sample data to play around with, or you can get started with your own headers and data.

In either case you will be getting a new sheet named Data. Here's how it looks using the sample data:

Headers can have any name and order, this is just an example. You just need to choose which column (header) you will use for Title, Filter and Location.

After that, you can enter your information by copying and pasting it or typing it directly on the sheet named Data. You can proceed by clicking Build to process the information, then View to open your map.

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