Wednesday, September 21, 2011

5-layer limit for Google Fusion Tables

My "learning the hard way" lesson yesterday was discovering that you can only have five Google Fusion Table layers on a map at one time.

I was working on a map for an upcoming story that used both polygon areas and points. I needed to break the polygons into five different groups, and planned to do the same with the points. I figured I could create different layers in ArcMap using Select by Attributes, import each layer into Fusion Tables and then color them appropriately.

All that was fine as I worked on my five polygon layers first, but as I tried to add my first point layer, it wouldn't show up and I was at wit's end. I checked to make sure the layer was public, and that I hadn't copied and pasted the two sections of code incorrectly in my HTML file. I then backed down to my original five layers and swapped a point layer table ID in and it worked, so I knew it wasn't the table layer, it was something else.

Fearing there was some kind of limit, I searched around and found a couple of blog posts and this reference in the Gooble Maps Javascript API (under the headline Limits) that says "Up to five Fusion Tables layers can be added to a map."

What was my solution? For my polygon layers, luckily I had all the data in an single layer in ArcMap to begin with ... I had been trying to separate them so I could color them separately in Fusion Tables. What I did was add a new column to the data and made up my own numbering system to designate the different layers. Then, once in Fusion Tables, I set the fill color to use Buckets and then picked that column and set the colors manually based on the numbering system I had come up with.

I did the points more or less the same, adding a "marker" column based on this reference.

I'll publish a link to the map once the story runs.


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