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Warning: Problem loading the .json data file for mapping

posted Nov 7, 2016, 9:52 AM by Faustino Rodriguez   [ updated May 2, 2017, 5:16 AM ]
If you are reading this post, you more likely got a warning message as follow, when opening the Mapping web app.

The map data files are those .json files the Mapping Sheets add-on creates within the xsMapping folder in your Google Drive. The Mapping web app reads that data file using an ajax call.

If that data file is not Public (shared with view access to anyone, as expected) you might have this issue in any of the following scenarios:
  1. You have no access to that file because the map was built by other person
    > Ask that person to share the .json data file or the whole xsMapping folder with you, at least with view access

  2. You are logged in the browser with multiple Google accounts and not using the default account, but the default (first) account has no access to that .json file.
    > Try logging in with just one account, or
    > Share the xsMapping folder in the non-default account with your default account

  3. A "malformed" json data file could also cause this issue. The add-on should fix / avoid some of these scenarios in the future, like
    > No proper headers in the first row (gathering some samples ...)
    > Strange - invalid - characters within your content, like 
 (unicode 0x2028) and maybe others

  4. Some users have reported other seldom situations provoking this issue, like
    > Privacy Badger extension blocked the ajax call.  Turning if off for the Mapping app page solved the issue
    > Bitdefender and the "web-protection, against phishing toggle", when on causes the blockage
    > AdblockPlus blocking resources to load

  5. Some instances on the Safari browser are causing this warning
    > See details below

  6. There might be other causes we are not fully aware yet?

If you want to share your map with others, you have to share the xsMapping folder (or the specific json data file there) with those other users, or make it Public (anyone can view) if you want to be accessible by anyone.

How to know if I am logged in the Chrome browser with multiple Google accounts?
> Open a new tab in your Chrome browser and click in your picture or initial in the top-right area of the new tab content.
See a sample screenshot below showing multiple accounts active in the same browser session

Some instances on the Safari browser are causing this warning
When the .json data file is not public, Safari might throw a "too many http redirects", when accessing the data file. We still don't know the root cause, but it looks like Safari does something different to the other browsers.

The solutions might be any of the following, as applicable:
  1. Use the Chrome browser
  2. Share xsMapping folder (or the specific json data file there) as Public (anyone can view)
  3. Follow the instructions suggested by Apple in this post (it worked for some users, including us)