Legacy Data Loader

Updated 2 months ago by Phil Vu

The spreadsheet data loader allows users to load address-level data from a spreadsheet file to view in PolicyMap.

Watch our quick video on how to use the Spreadsheet Data Loader, or read the detailed directions below.

Be sure to read our tips on setting up your CSV data file for use in uploading. We know that all files can be different and all users will have different ways of storing data. Our tips are meant to help your data files load easily.

With your data file set up correctly and saved as a CSV file, you are ready to use the Data Loader. Log in to your PolicyMap account and click on the Data Loader at the top of the page. Follow these steps to set up and upload your dataset.

  1. Method to Load Data: Select "Upload Spreadsheet of Points."
  2. Name of Dataset: Enter a name for your dataset.
  3. Share with: Select how you would like to share this data:
      • Myself Only - Available to only your account.
      • Select Individuals - Share the dataset to specific people by entering their email address. Please enter one email address per entry box.
      • Publicly Shareable - Datasets can be shared with any user through the Share features: link, email, embed maps, or social media.
  4. Icon: Choose a custom shape, size, or color for the icons to represent your data. This allows users to create multiple datasets with different icons and colors. Each could represent a unique characteristic in the dataset. This customization is similar to the filtering options on datasets already in PolicyMap.

  1. Import CSV File: Browse for the file to upload.

After selecting the  button, the Import Points page will load:

The Import Points page displays the column names from your spreadsheet. The top section identifies the columns which will be used to geocode (locate) an address; the bottom section are columns with other data you want to display.

The geocoder needs any of the following combinations to successfully locate an address:

  • Latitude and Longitude
  • Address 1 and Zip Code
  • Address 1, City, and State


Use the drop down menus for Data Type to identify the Address 1, City, State, and Zip Code, or Latitude and Longitude from your dataset. If the incorrect column name is being used to geocode an address, be sure to check the "remaining columns" list below; find and select the Data Type for the correct column.

If you do not see all your fields in the Import Points page or are missing required Data Types to geocode an address, select the Delete Points and Reimport button to exit the Import Points page. Re-check your data file to make sure it has the correct labels for each column and check the Spreadsheet Tips page.

The Import Points page also allows you to identify if a data column represents a currency or percentage, so it can display the correct formatting. The data loader will initially attempt to identify columns which have only numerical values and set the Data Type to "number." Select the $ or % radio buttons if the corresponding column represents that type of data.

When you have identified the columns for geocoding and set the data types for each column, select Next to start geocoding.

After the Data Loader has geocoded your addresses, the Add/Edit Points window will open and display a table of all addresses and the data for each address. The "Geocoded" column on the left show whether the address was located on the map. If it shows a red circle, you can click on any field to edit the address. After you click outside the address, it will attempt to re-geocode. If the circle changes from red to green, the address's location has been found. The Latitude and Longitude columns show the coordinates that were found for a successfully geocoded address.

The top left section will give you the results of the geocoding process. It is common for 70%-90% of addresses to be geocoded successfully.

Here are some helpful articles regarding the PolicyMap geocoder:

The top right section gives users optional features to help with searching for points and displaying on a map. The first feature gives users the ability to display a label above each icon on the map. Select a data field from the drop down menu to use as a label. Due to usability and performance issues, this feature is only available for datasets with 250 addresses or fewer. The second option turns on the ability to search for a point based on a name or data value. Select which data field to search by from the drop down menu.

If the data contains a percent column, and imported incorrectly, you have the option to move the decimal two spaces to the left or right. Click the corresponding button to move the decimal.

The last column for any row will allow you to delete the row. Simply select the delete icon.

At the bottom of the Add/Edit Points table, a variety of functions are available, including:

  • Add Row - This will add an additional row to enter an additional address to the table.
  • Delete Points and Reimport - For a newly created dataset, this allows you to delete the current dataset to re-upload another file. This is helpful if columns are not in the correct order, headers are labeled wrong, data in the tables is incorrect, or you want to modify your data file before uploading again. Once you save the dataset, this button will not be available.
  • Download Points - Users can download a spreadsheet of the current dataset in the table. This will include the latitude and longitude coordinates of any successfully geocoded addresses.
  • Save - Save any edits and settings during the session.
  • Save & Close - This will save the session and close the Add/Edit Points page.

The Set Access to Fields tab allows you to select which fields are visible when viewing an address on the Maps or Tables page. By default, all fields are available to all users and yourself. Simply uncheck which fields you don't wish to share. Select All to check or uncheck all fields in a column. The Display for Public and Display for Individual Users columns are only accessible if those sharing options were selected during the setup of the dataset. You can update the viewing options at any time. 

Any changes to how the dataset is shared on the setup page will reset all fields in the Set Access to Field page.

If you've chosen to share the data with only specified users, you can allow them to download a CSV file of the data. Fields marked to share will be the only fields in the downloadable file.

Set Access Field - Download

When you are done with editing and customizing your dataset, select the Save & Close button on the bottom. This will close the Add/Edit Points page and return you to the Data Loader home page. The interactive map on the right will show all geocoded addresses. Users can click on an icon to see all the shared data for a site.

Users can make additional edits and customizations to the dataset including changing the name of the dataset, who the dataset is shared with, or the icon type, color, and size. The "Edit Points" button will re-open the Add/Edits Points page, allowing users to make edits to the current dataset or add additional addresses. The "Load Dataset on Maps Page" will open the dataset on the Maps page, giving users the ability to use all the features and data layers on PolicyMap with the dataset.

If you want to learn more about the function, you can attend one of our free online training sessions (select a date from our calendar here). If you have questions or need some additional help, please contact us at any time.

PolicyMap will work on all supported browsers but your experience will vary depending on what browser you use. If you are using Microsoft's Internet Explorer, we recommend upgrading to version 9.0 and up.

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