Action Required if you use the Custom Map tools on

This message is for anyone that uses any of the following custom map tools on

  • mapBuilder: Color-Code ZIP Codes from a spreadsheet
  • mapBuilder: Color-Code Counties from a spreadsheet
  • mapBuilder: Add points from a spreadsheet

If you do NOT use Google Sheets to create maps on this website, you can safely ignore this message.

What has changed? The way in which Google Sheets spreadsheets are published to the web has changed. This website and many others used a prior version of Google’s API that is imminently being discontinued.

What do I need to do? Fortunately, the action you need to take is straightforward. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open each of your Google Sheets spreadsheets that you use to build custom maps on this website by going to Google Sheets at
  2. As shown in the screenshot below, (1) Click the Share button in the upper right corner, (2) click the Get Link section in the box that appears, (3) change the sharing setting to Anyone with the link (keep the drop-down to the right set as Viewer), and (4) click Done

NOTE: As before, the map data will be read from the first sheet tab in your Google Sheet.

Also, if you find that the maps are occasionally not appearing, the browser is hanging, or other strange behavior, this can often be due to browser cache issues. To fix this, while on one of the map tools, you can try forcing a hard refresh of the page by pressing Ctrl+F5 and/or clearing your browser’s cache and try again.

That’s it! That will enable the map tools on this website to continue reading from the Google Sheet using Google’s latest API. As always, do NOT place confidential information in the spreadsheet, as anyone with the link may view (but not edit) your spreadsheet.

Optional: You no longer need to publish your Google Sheet to the web. So if you wish to un-publish your spreadsheet, you can choose File, Publish to the Web and click the Stop Publishing button and then close the Publish to the web dialog box.

Apologies for the short notice, but with Google discontinuing the prior API, this is the best approach to ensure your maps that rely on Google Sheets remain viewable, and make use of the latest generation of Google’s API.

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