FAQ's on How to Make a Spreadsheet-To-Map

Q: How can I put a number or letter on the flags/markers? That way my excel row #1 will have an address that matches flag #1 on my map.

A: We are working on a method which will generate images with custom labels on the fly using data from your spreadsheet.
Until then, there is a solution but it will take a little bit of busy work for you to set up.
1. Create a custom marker icon, such as an arrow or a bubble.
2. Make many copies of this marker with the desired numbers or letters inside each one.  For example, you may
name these images  "arrow001.png, arrow002.png, etc". Upload these images to your web server.
3. In your spreadsheet, create a column named "marker" and put the full URL to each marker image into that column.
4. In GoogleMapBuilder, select the "marker" column on the preferences page under "custom markers".

Q: Is there a way to include driving directions (where the user can look them up) to the markers when you build a map?

A: When making your map the pop up and/or the side nav options both have the directions feature. Under the Instructions-#2 in the pull down box you click on directions Then use the box to the right to pull the directions code into the Main Window box. The results will look like this http://www.vivabeads.com/map3.html. Notice how when you click on the company name the pop up gives the option for directions under the company information.

Q: Can I put IF statements in the template?

A: We have not added conditional statements to the templates yet. Below is a workaround we developed using JavaScript / JQuery.

In this example, the sidenav had a line like this: ([-- Distance --] mi.) And when no zip distance search was used, it was generating ugly empty parenthese like this: ( mi.) The solution was to add "display: none" to the css defintion of "miles" and put this into the header.

<script src="http://www.googlemapbuilder.com/jquery-1.3.2.min.js"></script>
$(function() {                                   //on page load
  $(".miles").each(function() {                  //for each element with class="miles"
    var mi=$(this).text();                       //set mi = the text inside the element
    if (mi.match(/[0-9]/)) {$(this).show()}      //if mi contains a number, show the element.

Q: How can I correct my location with Google?

A: Google has a utility for correcting your location. See http://maps.google.com/help/maps/edit/ for more information.

Q: Why are my maps loading so slowly?

A: All of the possible map points are loaded at once. JavaScript is used to make the selected markers visible or hidden according to the user's selections. On smaller lists, map changes happen instantly. The map may be hosted on either your server or on Spreadsheet-To-Map.com. However, very large files will load slowly or not at all. To fix this problem go to the search field page and check the server side filtering box.

Does Spreadsheet-To-Map support European addresses?

A: Yes, using the latest Google API, the service can geocode and map points in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Australlia, and New Zeland. Since the API doesn't support the UK, we use the main maps.google.uk page to obtain Lat/Lon info for UK addresses, but that could change at any time.

Q: What are people going to use this system for?                         

A: To generate Google Maps for their Web sites to display multiple address markers.

Q: Who is going to use this tool?

A: Small Business or Group Managers, Web developers,  IT professionals, 
      or anyone who wishes  to display a map of any type and either:

a. lack the programming skills to use goggles API directly

b. will be modifying the address list frequently and could benefit from an automatic solution.

Are there any server requirements?

A: No, the file it generates is a completely self contained HTML page which can be uploaded to any web  site.

Q: What  if your data changes?

A:  Users can simply configuration and upload a new data file to update their map.

Q: So bottomline on this is?

A: Building and updating a Google Map, instead of being a long programming process, is now quick and easy for everybody.


Q: What if the office already has a webmaster and/or IT department. Do they still need Spreadsheet-To-Map?
A: That's our target audience. Because the company webmaster/IT people are responsible for publishing dynamic content about the ever changing lists, those professionals will immediately see the benefit of using an automatic tool like Spreadsheet-To-Map.


Q: Who else can use this?

A: Any site that publishes a list of locations (for whatever it is that they service) whether it's retail outlets, restaurants (with multiple locations), corporate locations, or people (such as an alumni directory), and more. The mapping system can be used for any purpose.


Q: Can it be used without disclosing the exact address?

A: Yes, we accomplish that by circling the general region on the map instead of displaying a pinpoint marker.

Q: What if there are too many map points in the same neighborhood to map a map read-able?
A: That's when you would use the built in data filters.
The webmaster can define up to 4 dropdown filters to show only addresses with, for example, a min. number of bedrooms, a certain price range containing a certain keyword, etc.


Q: "How can you charge money when Google Maps is free?"

A: Google Maps is free. Their API documentation can be found http://www.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/
We operate a consulting group with software assistance for those users without the time or programming experience to build an interface using Google's API.


Q: Can I add Driving Directions to my map?

A: Unfortunately, you can't get Google's driving directions to appear on your own map.
However, you can easily make a pop-up window with driving directions like so: <BR>[--Directions --]
And this will add driving directions to your bubble.

Q: How can I find the geographical center of my map?

A: The software is programmed to use the geographic center of a zip code whenever the address contains "PO Box"
So just fill a dummy column with "PO Box 1" and set that as the address.

Q: I have a GPS file that I downloaded into XCEL can I use that to make a map?

A: Yes, GMB can accept coordinates directly.
There is a checkbox on the "select the address and zipcode" page titled "My file already has Latitude and Longitude coordinates"
When that box is checked, the fields change from "address" and "zipcode" to "latitude" and "longitude"

Q: How can I make the map look more like my site?

A: If you want the style of the map to match your style sheet put your style sheet code in the header of the preference page

Q: Is there any way to use a different marker besided the flag or circle?

A: Once you download the page, find this:

var icon=new GIcon();


icon.iconSize=new GSize(39,37);

icon.iconAnchor=new GPoint(37,35);

icon.infoWindowAnchor=new GPoint(18,17);

Replace the url to the image with your own image URL. The icon size is self explanatory.

The icon anchor is the x,y coordinates of the bottom TIP of the arrow, pointer, stem, or whatever.

the icon infoWindowAnchor is the x,y coordinates of the center of the marker body

(in our case, the center of the flag) where the info window seems to extend from.

Q: Why is there a white box around my image?

A: It's possible your images are were not transparent.

Try using a photo editing software to delete the white background, leaving on the transparent border. After uploading the image and changing the reference in the data file to the new image, you'll see the graphic without a border.

Q: Why are my images not showing up in my pop up bubble?

A: You need to update the images to a folder on your web site.
Next you need to include a column in your xcel sheet that is called Picture
and reference a link to each photo in the picture column

How can I force my map to get fresh geocode data instead of using the cache?

A: Add &geocode=1 to the end of the query string. For example:
(with &geocode=1) in a different color and/or bold text.


Official PayPal Seal