Import implemented since 3.10.0, available for admins and managers

It offers functionality to import data from CSV (example.csv) files. At the moment lists can be imported containing name, description, GIS data, dates and an origin_id.


Automatic imports can be dangerous for your data integrity and it may be very time consuming to reverse them so we strongly advise:

  • SQL backups before import, it is enforced that there is at least one backup not older than a day available. Backups can be made at admin/export/sql so that the database can be rebuild (by a database administrator) if necessary.
  • Use the preview (enabled by default) and check if the data looks OK.

The import operation is encapsulated in a transaction, meaning if there is an error in the script, nothing will be imported.


To retrace the imports they have to be associated with a project. If there is none (or not the right one) available you'll have to create a new one. The name and description can be updated later.

Import classes

Only one class can be imported at a time so you have to choose one of the available classes (Source, Person, Place, ...).

Import fields

These information can be imported if the header contains these words. Columns with other titles won't get imported but will shown as an error message.

name - a name is required, an error will be displayed if the header is missing. A warning will be displayed, if names in data rows are missing and these wont get imported.
description - optional description can be given
origin_id - optional but can be useful to trace it back. The origin_id has to be unique per project so if you have multiple e.g a person and place with id = 1 you can prefix them in the document e.g. person_1, place_1 before importing them


Dates can be entered in the format YYYY-MM-DD in the fields begin_from and end_from. You can also use time spans in combinations with the fields begin_to and end_to can be used too (see: Form_field_dates)

  • The application checks the date format, if incorrect they will be displayed in red and won't be imported
  • If values are missing for time spans they will be discarded silently (e.g. a valid value in begin_to but an empty value in begin_from)
  • The import doesn't make advanced checks between dates e.g. end dates are before begin dates. You should check them manually after the import (admin/check dates)


If importing places point coordinates can be imported too. Keep in mind that you need the WGS84 geodetic system. Coordinates will only be imported if a columns northing (latitude) and easting (Longitude) is present and contain number values.

northing - number value
easting - number value

File extension

Make sure the extension is spelled correctly in lower case e.g. My_Data.csv

Support for spreadsheet programs was dropped in 4.0.0. because it got to complicated with e.g. date values. This shouldn't be a big issue because modern spreadsheet programs should have functions to export data to csv files.


csv is a text format and stands for comma separated values. In the first line should be the header names. Each following line is one data set. Values are separated by commas, text can be enclosed in double quotes (especially if the contain commas).


Import options

File: select the file you'll want to import
Preview: if this option is selected, nothing will be imported and you see a preview
Check for duplicates: if selected the chosen class e.g. person will be searched for already existing names. The search is not case sensitive e.g. "King Arthur" would be found even it is spelled "KiNg ArThUr". If duplicates are found a warning is printed but this doesn't stop the import so check it before with the preview.

After the import

When the import went through you'll see a summary which data was imported (like the preview). Also you can browse the projects to see which imported entities are associated with them. If you enabled the advanced layout you can also see in the detail view of an entity from which project it was imported, which user did the import and the origin_id value.

Updated by Alexander Watzinger 5 months ago · 15 revisions

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