How to create a live-updating symbol map

No matter if you want to show in which election districts the results come in on election night or update cases of the flu per county, live-updating maps are a convenient way. Datawrapper allows you to link your map to an external dataset. Every time the data set updates, the map will update, too – without the need to republish it.

👉 To create a symbol map that doesn't update live, visit this article.
👉 To create a live-updating chart or table, visit this article.
👉 To create a live-updating choropleth map, visit this article.


Create a symbol map

To do so, go to and click on Symbol map. Then, choose the map you'd like to put your data in. Click Proceed.


Go to step 2: Add your data > Upload tab > Link external data


Prepare your dataset

Your dataset must include  two columns with a set of coordinates (latitude and longitude) for each data point you want to plot on the map. The coordinates need to be in decimal format (like "29.3829"), not in a DMS format (like "29° 22' 58.44'' N"). 

Here's an example dataset: 

Your dataset must be an external CSV that's hosted online. You can find more information about where to host your CSV data here


Enter URL to an external CSV file

Now, Datawrapper asks you to enter an URL that links to your CSV file. Here, we've linked a URL to a publicly shared Google sheet. If it's a valid link, you'll see a green tick next to the URL. Then proceed by clicking on Connect



Go to Match tab and make sure that the correct columns are selected for the latitude and longitude: 


Publish your map

Now click on step 4: Publish and publish your map. Your map will check your dataset every minute and pull new changes that your readers can see when they refresh the page where you embedded your map.

And that's it! If you still have questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at