Spreadsheet Mapper now with more advanced customization

Do you have a spreadsheet of locations that you’d like to see on a map? Here on the Google Earth Outreach team we talk to many nonprofits who use Google Earth and Maps to tell their stories and visualize their data. Often the data is in spreadsheets, or other tabular formats. Converting these rows and columns into a map brings the spreadsheet to life by providing geographic context and a new way to visualize the information.

Spreadsheet Mapper is a tool that enables anyone to easily create a well-designed KML file to show off their data in Google Earth and Maps. Since Spreadsheet Mapper is a Google Docs template, you fill in your data using the familiar interface of a spreadsheet, and create a great KML without any coding. It gives you all the cloud-based benefits of Google Docs, including collaborative editing and the ability to publish directly to the web.

When we released Spreadsheet Mapper 2 a few years ago, it had a number of limitations, especially with regard to the number of placemarks it could create and the available balloon templates. In response to user feedback, and taking advantage of new features in Google spreadsheets and Google Apps Scripts, we have upgraded Spreadsheet Mapper with a variety of new and improved features:

  • More placemarks: Support for 1,000 placemarks and ability to add more as needed
  • Flexible balloon design: Take advantage of even more balloon design templates and simplified starter templates
  • Simplified publication: Just click “Publish to the web” to share your map (no more fussing with URLs)
  • New customization options: Advanced users can change the default view and network link details

Ready to try it? The Spreadsheet Mapper v3 tutorial will get you started.

Google launched the ability to edit mobile docs in 45 languages

Last November, Google launched the ability to edit mobile docs in English. Today they’re excited to announce that you can now edit your docs on the go in 44 more languages.

To begin editing, visit docs.google.com in your mobile browser, and select a document to edit. Switch from view to edit mode by pressing ‘Edit’ to turn on the mobile editor and start typing away. As a reminder, mobile editing is available on Android (2.2+) and iOS (version 3.0+) devices. You can learn more about Google Docs for mobile on www.google.com/mobile.

All file types to any Google Account

Over the next few days we will be rolling out an expansion to the feature set of the Google Documents List API. Third-party applications may now upload files of any type to any Google Account. Previously, this was only possible for Google Apps for Business users.

This feature allows developers to roll out their solutions to all Google Docs users. For instance, it’s now possible for developers to build applications that allow all users to back up files from their local hard drive to the cloud. There are a variety of other possible uses for this feature, and some examples include revision control and file distribution. Third-party applications (such as those on the Google Apps Marketplace) can also now use Google Docs as the primary place to store their data without the hassle of creating different solutions for customers of Google Apps for Business versus the free edition of Google Apps.

After they are uploaded, files are available in the Google Docs interface:

To enable uploads for all file types, developers must use the resumable upload feature of the API, and also pass in the ?convert=false URL parameter.

We have also added checksums to all files that are not converted to a native Google Docs format. This means that if you upload a file type we can’t convert, or if you choose not to convert a file to a native format, a checksum is now available to help guarantee the integrity of the file between storage and retrieval.

We are also in the process of adding checksums to all previously uploaded unconverted files. Due to the popularity of uploading unconverted files, processing this backlog will take some time to complete.

We’ve recently made a lot of improvements to the documentation that should make implementing all of this easier. For further help, please have a look in the forum.