Tip: Bulk updates to a table

Here's a nice trick: bulk update of a table in place.

Say you have a table for data that is updated regularly. You don't want to add or edit data row by row! You'd like to keep the same table, but include the updates. Here are two tips, depending on what form the updates take: a bunch of new rows, or updates scattered throughout the rows.

Add new rows to a table

It's easy to bring additional rows into an existing Fusion Table using File > Import more rows.

Try it yourself!

Imagine you are tracking all vacant or abandoned buildings in Chicago, each of which was identified by a service request on a specific date. The table has data through March of 2011 and now you want to add in April's data.

We've created some sample data for you and put April's new rows in a Google Spreadsheet.
  1. Download the sample file to your computer: Chicago's vacant buildings
  2. Create a new table with the example dataset:
    1. Go to Google Drive and click Create > More > Table.
    2. Click Browse to find the file on your computer.
    3. Click Next, Next, and Finish to create your table. It should look like this:

      vacant
  3. Now bring in April's rows:
    1. Choose File > Import more rows
    2. Select the file with the new rows.
    3. Click Select and Finish to bring the rows into your table.
  4. Confirm the new rows are in your table.
    1. Click Req Date
    2. Select "Sort Dec 31, 2012 to Jan 1 2012" to sort the recent dates to the top.

Bulk replace all rows in a table

What if any row might have updates, or even some rows have been deleted? You have a file with the latest version, and now you want to update the Fusion Table too.

The best way to do this is a quick 2-step: delete all rows, then import the new file with all the changes back into the table. This way, you aren't creating a new table, just updating an existing one.

  1. Since deleting all rows can't be undone, you may wish to File > Download a copy of your current table as a precaution.  
  2. Delete all the rows:
    • In the new look, use Edit > Delete all rows.
    • In classic, use File > Delete all rows.
  3. Click OK when prompted.

    delete all rows prompt

    Here's your empty table once you've deleted the rows:

    table with no rows

  4. Now use File > Import more rows to bring the new version of the data into your table.

Your original table is updated with the latest information.