Whether doing a bulk import or adding locations by hand there are times when you will see a “location uncoded” or “cannot geocode” error message. This is always the result of an address that was send to Google that cannot be processed in the address location system.
Some clients have datasets of 200,000 locations, none of which include latitude/longitude coordinates, only U.S. street addresses. Often customers want to know import limitations to including Google’s limit of 2,500 daily requests.
In order to perform bulk location imports with a CSV file you will need to the Power add-on installed. The following constraints can keep the locations from loading or cause slower processing.
Buy the Power Add On
The Power Add On allows you to import CSV files with several options. One of those options is “duplicates handling”. Duplicates handling determines how to deal with locations in your CSV file that may match pre-existing locations on your site.
There are several options available for duplicates handling including Add, Skip, and Update.
Importing locations with territories follows the same procedure as importing a standard locations file. As with all location files the format must be a proper CSV file exported using the UTF-8 character set with no special or non-printable characters.
To load the territory data you must have first enabled the territories feature in the Premier Add On. You will also need to have installed and activated with the Pro Add On or Power Add On for Store Locator Plus.
Your CSV file should add the following five columns to the file. Make sure you add the field names to the top of each of these new columns as listed here:
Within each column you will want to have the following values:
- territory_distance_unit can be ‘miles’, ‘km’, or be blank. If this is not set to ‘miles’ or ‘km’ it will assume the territory is not enabled for this location.
- territory_distance_north , south, east, and west should be the distance north, south, east, or west from the location that is part of its territory.
The territory boundaries will automatically be calculated for each location during the import.
The Locations panel in Store Locator Plus is where you add, manage, edit and/or delete locations.
Actions and Filters
Under the Manage Locations panel there are drop down fields and filters that can be applied to display the pagination interface. If you have a large number of locations, bulk actions can be a very useful tool. If you have more locations than can fit on the display, you can set the display filter to show more locations. You may also use filters to display and manage non – geocoded locations, or show locations with certain properties. The display can be adjusted to suit your needs but configuration constraints and/or server constraints may effect your outcome.
Not all Bulk actions will appear if you have only the base plugin installed.
The default number of locations that will be displayed on the admin user Interface is 10. Selecting a large number to display can be useful to view or manage but if your server capacity cannot handle it or changes and you go back to manage locations months or years later and try to access your locations panel, you may see no locations panel. If you see the wheels churning on your computer with no results this could be the reason. If you are not sure of the capabilities of your server, browser and various other factors that effect memory, and inhibit loading and displaying fields, err on the side of caution and set the Filter Display locations back to a manageable size before leaving the panel. If you are migrating servers from a “heavy duty” server to a less robust server, or if your memory becomes an issue you will need to reset the display to a manageable number. If you do not take this precaution , the only way to reset the display field is by using Janitor. See Troubleshooting for more info.
The location imports have been updated with the Power add on in order to simplify and speed up the import process. The CSV file format remains as the preferred import method for locations.
CSV File Format
The CSV file should be a UTF-8 encoded file with proper quotes around strings and commas between fields.
Special characters should be stripped or converted to proper UTF-8 format. In our experience many applications such as Numbers and Excel will not strip special characters properly during a UTF-8 CSV file export. Google Sheets has been a good application for importing those CSV files and re-exporting them with special characters removed.
The CSV file must have a header row defining field names as the first row of the file. All other rows must contain proper CSV data. Rows cannot contain more columns (fields) that defined by the header row. That is often an indicator that special characters exist in your file and is used as a safety stop mechanism in the import processor.
CSV File Headers
All location import files must start with a field name header. This is the first line of the CSV file that contains the name of each locator field at the top of the column. The option to “not include a header + is no longer optional in the Power add-on.
Header field names are not case sensitive. The field names will be stripped of any character that is not a letter, number, hyphen, or underscore. If it makes your file more readable you can use a name such as “Address 2” which will be changed to “address2” , then the file is processed. Keep in mind the “sanitized key” version of whatever you use as the header MUST match the list of field names below.
Associating Store Locator Plus locations with WooCommerce products is a new feature provided by the Premier plugin for Store Locator Plus. The Premier plugin is an add-on that is available exclusively to Premier Subscription holders.
In order to activate the WooCommerce product mapping features of the Premier add-on, you will need to WooCommerce installed and activated on your site. When WooCommerce is installed the WooCommerce modules are automatically activated within the Premier add-on. You should activate WooCommerce before importing locations with WooCommerce product relations.