Help with the column labels error

Sometimes when trying to create a data visualization, Mapsdata will return the error, “Check that your columns are labeled properly in…” when you upload your data file.

The text of the error sums it up rather well, but read on for examples of exactly what might be wrong and how to fix it.


The file below, which we created using data from the World Bank, lists countries (using three-letter codes) and an indicator of economic and environmental performance: the value of GDP in dollars that is created while emitting one ton of C02.

This data, however, will lead to the column labels error.

As you can see, the column containing country codes (AFG for Afghanisatan, AGO for Angola, etc.) is not labeled. As a result Mapsdata does not know what kind of information it contains, and as a result it cannot use it. We would also have the problem if the column was mislabeled, for example with a typo like “Coutnry Code”.

Simply labeling the column correctly with “Country Code” in cell A1, will solve the column labels error and allow us to create our data visualization.


The same problem can happen with other types of geocoding information like latitude and longitude.

For example, the file below, which we created using data from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (click here for the original data), shows the districts of London (known as boroughs), their coordinates, and the percentage of households there that have no car, 1 car, 2 cars, etc.

Again, this data will lead to the column labels error.

This is because, although the coordinates are present, the columns are not labeled.

Simply writing “Latitude” and “Longitude”, or “lat” and “lon”, in B1 and C1 respectively will solve the problem and allow us to create our data visualization.

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If you’re still having problems creating your data visualization, please check our How to Use Mapsdata page.

If you can’t find the solution to your problem, do send us a line on support@inquiron.com, we’re always happy to help.