Limitations, Known Issues and Common Errors

Limitations

Limitations are like unpleasant features we have to deal with and work around, because they are an inheritance part of the solution.

So far, we have identified the following limitations

  1. Geocoding service daily quota limit - more details on this post
    1. The add-on uses the geocode function on Google Apps Script, to convert an address or location into latitude / longitude coordinates for mapping
    2. You would get an error message like this "Exception: Service invoked too many times for one day: geocode"
    3. When you hit that quota limit, there is not too much you can do, other than wait until next day to continue
    4. The daily quota limit depends on the type of Google account you are using. A Gmail free account has a smaller quota than a G Suite (formerly Google Apps) paid account.
    5. We haven't found an official reference on those limits, however as some users have reported, the Geocoding limit for a Gmail free account is about 1000 locations per day, while for a G Suite paid account is around 10,000 locations per day.
    6. In this case, the add-on will stop the Geocoding process, but gather all the processed locations into a partial map ready for view
    7. Check this post for more details on how to deal with this limitation
  2. Geocoding calls per each BUILD session
    1. A Google script (like this add-on) has a maximum execution time (currently 6 minutes)
    2. To avoid exceeding that limit the add-on would only geocode until getting close to that limit on each BUILD session (when you click on the BUILD button)
    3. You would get a warning message like "Warning: Too many calls in one session"
    4. As it says "Please, click Build again until your map is complete", unless of course you hit the "daily quota limit" mentioned above
    5. In this case, the add-on will stop the Geocoding process, but gather all the processed locations into a partial map ready for view
  3. Other Geocoding related limitations that might interrupt or affect the BUILD process
    1. Hitting the 2,000,000 cells limit on your spreadsheet - "Exception: This action would increase the number of cells in the workbook above the limit of 2000000 cells"
    2. No access to the hidden Geocoding sheet in the spreadsheet when adding new coordinates, if you are not the owner - "Exception: You are trying to edit a protected cell or object. Please contact the spreadsheet owner to remove protection if you need to edit"
    3. When Geocoding a location that returns an unknown error from the Google Geocoding service. It's happening for a very few cases and it's already reported to Google - "Exception: We're sorry, a server error occurred. Please wait a bit and try again. (some location here)". In the meantime, you would need to avoid those conflicting descriptions or replace them with an actual address.
  4. Errors would happen eventually for some users. This is not an actual limitation, but a statement and a fact
    1. The whole solution including both add-on and web app is Cloud based, dealing with asynchronous server calls to several Api (application program interface)
    2. Under these premises and conditions something can go wrong at any given time
    3. The add-on works on a try - catch - log approach, so we are aware of any catch-able errors through the add-on private Log
    4. Additionally, every server call - line of code - that might be prone to errors, it's wrapped with an exponential backoff function, that does a few retries before throwing an error
    5. Most users never get an error and most errors are short-lived
    6. See more details on errors later on this page

Known Issues

Issues are those limitations or errors that the Mapping add-on or the Mapping web app might have at any given time, but that we can eventually might fix because we are currently working on them

Currently, these are the known issues we are all facing

  1. The Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) browser is showing the sidebar and the map in a non-workable way
    1. At this moment, we are unable to support IE, for both the add-on and the web app
    2. We are still trying to fix this issue + Fixed for the Mapping web app, v 3.0
    3. Please, try the Chrome or Edge browser instead for the add-on
  2. Occasionally, you might get a "Warning: Problem loading the .json data file" when opening your map with the Mapping web app
    1. This might be related to several causes, like no file permission, using multiple Google accounts, malformed data, blocking app, etc
    2. Please, check this post for more details on causes and on how to avoid this issue

Common Errors

Under common errors, we deal with those happening and not included above, under limitations and issues

The Mapping Sheets add-on and the Mapping web app are both mostly error-free, however errors would happen eventually for some users.

Errors are unintended and unexpected results that in most cases break the normal functioning of either the add-on or the web app, temporarily.

We are sorting these common errors by their occurrence frequency, as current, often, seldom and rare errors ... plus the 'implausible' errors

⇨ Current Errors

We keep an updated error list (if any) at the top of the "Current Issues, FAQ and Feedback" page, with those (if any) current issues/errors that are yet to be fixed and sometimes are caused by external issues

⇨ Often Errors

  1. Exception: We're sorry, a server error occurred. Please wait a bit and try again
    1. There is no details in the error reported by Google server, so it's difficult to determine the actual cause in most cases
    2. It is mostly short-lived and their recommendation accurate
    3. You "wait a bit and try again", and it's back to normal

⇨ Seldom Errors

  1. Exception: No item with the given ID could be found, or you do not have permission to access it
    1. We believe this is a timing issue due to the asynchronous nature of Google Cloud
    2. It might happen when you install the add-on from the store instead of from within an existing spreadsheet
    3. In that case it creates a new spreadsheet and if you start using the add-on right away, it might not be aware of the new spreadsheet ID - weird though real
    4. It usually goes away immediately, so it would work fine on a second try
  2. Exception: Service error: Spreadsheets
    1. This is usually a temporary, mostly short-lived error coming from Google Spreadsheet service
    2. Just "wait a bit and try again", or report it if persisting
  3. Firebase related errors
    1. The add-on uses a private Firebase database to hold the user's installation settings (like email, date, locale and beta enrollment)
    2. Occasionally, it might return an error like "Error: ", "Internal server error", "An internal error occurred", "Unexpected error", "Firebase database instance is inactive"
    3. They are very seldom and usually go away immediately, so it would work fine on a second try

⇨ Rare Errors

  1. Exception: We're sorry, a server error occurred. Please wait a bit and try again (some address)
  2. Refused to execute script because its MIME type ('text/html') is not executable, and strict MIME type checking is enabled
  3. Exception: A sheet with the name "Geocoding" already exists. Please enter another name
    1. The add-on creates a new - hidden by default - sheet with the name "Geocoding" in your spreadsheet, with fixed headers (addresskey, latitude, longitude, flag)
    2. This sheet will hold all the calculated coordinates (latitude and longitude) for your locations, acting as local repository to avoid repeated calls to the Geocoding service
    3. We believe this error happens if you already have a sheet named "geocoding" (in lowercase) in your spreadsheet
    4. Please, rename that sheet to avoid this issue
  4. Exception: The feature you are attempting to use has been disabled by your domain administrator
    1. This is because "third-party Google Drive apps" is disabled in your domain and the add-on requires creating the .json data files in your Google Drive
    2. This feature is enable by default
    3. Please, check this page with your domain administrator, to fix this issue.
  5. Exception: Limit Exceeded: DriveApp
    1. This happens when creating a .json data file in your xsMapping folder and your Storage quota is near its limit
    2. Your Storage quota is shared across Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos
    3. Try this link to check your storage usage
    4. And review this page on how to clear Google Drive space and increase your storage
  6. Exception: You are trying to edit a protected cell or object. Please contact the spreadsheet owner to remove protection if you need to edit
    1. This had happened twice, when the add-on is adding new found Geocoding coordinates to the Geocoding hidden sheet in your spreadsheet
    2. We believe it might be the case of a shared spreadsheet
    3. Please, do as suggested to fix this issue
  7. Error: Invalid filter name or header (missing header)
    1. It happened a couple of times
    2. It's caused by changing a header name in your spreadsheet, that has been previously assigned as an additional filter
    3. Just reload the sidebar and reassign the additional filter to a valid header
  8. Exception: This action would increase the number of cells in the workbook above the limit of 2,000,000 cells
    1. This happens for a very large spreadsheet when the add-on is adding new found Geocoding coordinates to the Geocoding hidden sheet in your spreadsheet
    2. Nothing you can do about, other than reduce the size of your spreadsheet or use another spreadsheet
  9. Error: <html>\n<head><title>502 Bad Gateway
    1. It happened a couple of times
    2. No idea what might cause this error
    3. But it should be related to temporary network issue
  10. Exception: Action not allowed
    1. It affected a few users during the period of Mar.14-19, 2017
    2. The Geocoding service call was failing when the ' character was part of an address (e.g. 2 rue de l'Ecole de Medecine)
    3. This issue was reported to Google
    4. While the issue gets actually fixed by Google, we are replacing the the ' character with a space, just to avoid it, so you won't have this problem any more
  11. Exception: Data storage error
    1. It happened once
    2. A temporary 4-hour glitch in Google Properties service Api on Mar.27 2017
  12. Exception: Argument too large: value
    1. It happened once
    2. We believe it was due to a very large header line (size > 9 KB) in the spreadsheet
  13. Exception: Service invoked too many times for one day: properties get.
    1. It happened once
    2. Not clear on the cause
  14. Exception: Refused to execute script from ... because its MIME type ('text/html') is not executable, and strict MIME type checking is enabled
    1. Not clear on the cause
  15. Exception: too many http redirects

⇨ Implausible Errors

  1. Exception: Sheet not found
    1. It's happened only a few times
    2. When building a new map (.json data file) the add-on ask for the name of the current active data sheet, but the server responds with that 'Sheet not found' error

Browser specific notes

Chrome

Our preferred browser so far. We develop only on Chromebooks using the Chrome browser, so it's always fully tested for Chrome.

No known specific issues

Firefox

No known specific issues

Safari

There is a rare seldom issue when loading the map producing the error " too many redirects error when loading the map"

Edge

No known specific issues

Internet Explorer

We are unable to support Internet Explorer