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.
Create a symbol map
To do so, go to https://app.datawrapper.de/create/map 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.
- To learn how to create a live-updating visualization using Google Sheets, read How to create live-updating visualizations using Google Sheets.
- You can also select if you want to use the Datawrapper server or serve your data file directly. To learn the difference between the two options, read Options for live-updating visualizations.
- You can also link an external JSON document for live-updating metadata. For more details, read How to create a chart with live-updating metadata.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.