The Premier Add On includes an option to run location geocoding on a regularly scheduled interval. This can be useful for a hands-off approach when loading locations remotely through direct data connections.
Google will return various error codes depending on the data format or request timing. The following table of errors and their meanings will help you determine what is going on when Google tries to lookup up your location coordinates. The most common issue is reaching your quota limits or missing your Google API Key.
When a location is added into your SLP data set, you will see a message “Store Locator Plus wants you to know:” and the output of the Latitude and Longitude where Google thinks the location is.
For Example, I added Sydney Opera House and no street address, just name, the city and the country Australia:
“Google thinks Sydney Australia is at lat: -33.8674869 long 151.2069902”
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.
Import features are available with the Power Add-on
If checked , use the faster MySQL Load Data method of file processing. Only base plugin data can be loaded, see the approved field name list.
This feature uses the MySQL Load Data command and is much faster than WordPress / PHP CSV file parsing, with the typical Google Geocoding limitations on performance and record counts (if you are not supplying, filling in the latitude/longitude data fields). This feature will only import basic location data. It does not import extended data fields or (Tagalong) category data. If you use this along with pre-entered latitude and longitude values you can import 100,000 locations in less than 10 minutes on a basic web server. The column headers must be included in the file and must match the basic fields. You do NOT need to include all columns.
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.