Written by:
Last updated: 02/06/2021 11:36:28

Import Non-Location Data And Digitise on a Map

In this guide we will show you how to create a new map and import a spreadsheet for adding features to the spreadsheet.

Time to complete: 15 mins.


1.    Getting started

1.1  Download files

1.2  Convert Excel file to CSV

1.3  Create a new map

1.4  Upload your data onto the map

2.    Configuring your imports

2.1  Setting your coordinate system (EPSG)

2.2  Configuration

3.    Add features to the map

3.1  Using ‘digitising’ mode

3.2  Digitising the rest of your data

1.    Getting started

1.1.  Download files

Download the sample file: Sample Excel.

The zip file contains 1 Excel file with an ID and a String.

1.2.  Convert Excel file to CSV

Open the file in Excel or LibreOffice.  Next, choose FILE & SAVE AS from the top menu and save it as a CSV (Comma Delimited_ (*.csv) file.

1.3.  Create a new map

Click on MAPS section and select CREATE MAP.

This will open up the first page of the map creation wizard.

Name your new map and select NEXT.

1.4.  Import data and add to map

At this stage you have a number of options. You can create a brand new layer for your map by selecting the CREATE LAYER button.  Alternatively you can choose to upload one or many of your existing layers onto your map (your full list of layers will appear), or you choose to create an empty map.

When you try to load a map without any layers attached you will get the below warning.

In this case however, we'll choose the CREATE LAYER button (this is also accessible on the map using the gears button on the layer tree view).  You'll be prompted with the below pop-up.  Select YES, GO.

This will automatically bring you to the first step of the CREATE DATASETS wizard.


In the next step of the wizard, you'll choose the AZIMAP option below

Drag and drop the earlier downloaded zip file.

Rename your layers after you upload them.

2.    Configuring your imports

After upload, CSV imports need to be configured.



2.1.  Setting your coordinate system (EPSG)

  •             Set EPSG code - All spatial data needs a co-ordinate system (this is recognised automatically for spatial files like SHP or TAB but must be set manually for CSV) further information on EPSG codes available here 
  •             Each Country will have its one or many of its own EPSG codes (GB: 27700, Ire: 2157)
  •             Search can be processed by EPSG code or by name
  •             Search for 4326 and select (EPSG:4326 is a worldwide coordinate system measured in degrees)


2.2.  Configuration

Under the OPTIONS section, click the CONFIGURE button.  You’ll be presented with the following three options. 

Here’s what they all mean:

KEEP GEOMETRY COLUMN AS ATTRIBUTES (not applicable for this purpose) – this will create a new column in with text version of the geometry (lat lon or Well Known Text (WKT)) - useful for point features but a WKT of lines or polygons can be very large

LET US GUESS COLUMN FORMATS - our importer will try to auto discover the types in each column (string, text, date etc.).  If unticked, all data will be imported as string unless a .csvt file is used.

The .csvt file has to have the same name as the .csv file it describes. It enables definition of the following data types: Integer, Real, String, Date (YYYY-MM-DD), Time (HH:MM:SS+nn) and DateTime (YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS+nn) and geometry column types (WKT, lat, X, lon, Y). A .csvt file contains only one line and the types for each column need to be quoted and comma separated, e.g.


    • Precision can also be applied



Tick this if you know that your CSV has a spatial (location data) column, e.g.

    • This CSV does not have location data so this should be unticked
    • Supported column names are:
      • WKT - short for Well Known Text. Details of format available here. The type supports almost all geometry types including points, lines, polygons, and their multi variants
      • Lat or Y - lat of y for the Y axis point coordinate
      • Lon or X - lon of x for the X axis point coordinate


    • Choose point, line or polygon
    • For non-spatial CSV you can choose the format you want to capture - 'EdinburghHotSpotsNonSpatial' CSV = point

Close and click SAVE.

Your new layer will be added to the map, as there is no data in the layer it will default to the centre of the coordinate system (somewhere in the Atlantic)

Use the address bar in the top right of the map to search for 'Edinburgh'

3.    Add features to the map

To facilitate fast digitising, Azimap has a geocoding workflow click the Geocoding button.

This will open the data panel at the bottom of the screen where all the imported data will be listed.  On the left of the panel each row has a DIGITISE button which, when clicked, will change the map to digitising mode – making it easy to transfer your features digitally onto the map.



3.1.  Using ‘digitising’ mode

Firstly, order your rows by ID (click on arrows beside ID column name).

Click on the first row DIGITISE button.

This will convert the toolbar to 'digitising' mode.

This dataset is the top 10 attractions in Edinburgh.  As you can see, the number 1 attraction is Arthur's Seat.  Use the address search in the top left of the map to search for 'Arthur's Seat'.

This will zoom the map to the correct location.

Select the DRAW POINTS button on the toolbar.

Click the map at the correct location to place a point.

The toolbar will revert to normal and the former DIGITISE button will be changed from green to blue to highlight a digitised record.

3.2.  Digitising the rest of your data

Repeat step 3 for all features.

All the green buttons should turn blue and your data is now spatial!

Thanks for reading and if you haven't yet tried Azimap please go to the website to REGISTER.