My locator map is not exporting

Your locator map is taking a long time to export or you're seeing an error message that there's a problem with the export. 

It might be that  you’ve added too many area markers — either with the “Add region as area marker” or “Highlight a region” features, or by uploading custom markers with the “Import line and area markers” option. Adding a lot of any of these kinds of area markers can slow down the map export. In this article, we’ll explain a workaround to reduce the number of area markers in your locator map.

Group individual area markers into one big area marker 

Below is a map of European countries. In Datawrapper, there's an option called "Add region as area marker" which allows you to fill each country with a different color. 

If you're only highlighting a few countries or a few regions, this option is great. However, in a map like above where you are highlighting many countries, it's better to group these countries and upload them as one area marker using the 'Import line and area markers' option instead. 

In the above example, there are three categories: 1) EU Schengen states, 2) Non-Schengen EU States, and 3) Non-EU Schengen States. We can create one custom area marker for each of these categories. There are various ways to put together your own custom GeoJSON. Here's an example: 

  1. Download a map 
    For this example, we can go to to download a map of Europe in GeoJSON format. (See this article for other sources of geodata.) 
  2. Use mapshaper to split the countries into separate layers
    Drag & drop the file into an online map editing tool called mapshaper. Then split out the groups of countries into separate layers. To split out polygons, press the space button to open up the command line editor and enter -split '["Switzerland","Iceland","Norway"].indexOf(geounit) == -1' Here, geounit is the name of the target field. Replace the country names and repeat this for all three categories. For details, see mapshaper Wiki.
  3. Set the right projection
    Make sure that the map is projected to WGS84 coordinates by typing in -proj wgs84
  4. Simplify the map to under 2MB in total size 
  5. Export in GeoJSON format and import in Datawrapper! 

See 👉 How to upload your own map for more detailed guide on projection & simplifying the map. 

Now, instead of a list of more than 30 different area markers, you'll only have three area markers. This will not only make the map lighter but also makes it easier for you to style each marker! 

This is just one example of what may be causing the export issue and there may be other reasons why your specific map is not exporting. If you're still having issues exporting your map, reach out to us at and we'll take a look at the map for you.