How to upload a dataset via the Web User Interface

The first step to upload data manually through the Socrata User Interface is to log in to your Socrata site. You will see an internal navigation bar that will have a link to create a new dataset:


There you will see a modal to Create a New Dataset by specifying a name. To utilize the classic import experience, Opt out of the new import modal via the blue banner shown below:

When you click on this button you will be guided through a series of prompts and pages:

  • Selecting the Type of Data File
  • Choosing the Source of Your Data File
  • Reviewing the Data File Schema
  • Metadata Page

Note: Don't see the "Create a New Dataset" button on your profile? Please check that you have the appropriate user role to upload a dataset, here.

Selecting the Type of Data File

When importing a file, you are presented with 6 different options for importing:

  • Design from Scratch
  • Import a Data File
  • Upload a Non-data File
  • Import Geospatial Data
  • Link to External Data
  • Connect with an ESRI Map Layer

For more info on these Data File Types see the article called Importing, Data Types, and You!

We’ll proceed with the Import a Data File option as this is the most commonly used.

Choosing the Source of Your Data File

In this second stage of manually importing a data file, when you click on the button you will be asked where your file is located


On my computer: Choose this if the data file is on the computer you are using.

If you select this option, you will next be prompted to select the file from your machine 

import2.pngOn the internet: Choose this if your data lives on the internet in .csv, .xls, .xlsx or .tsv, and you have the HTTP(S) URL to it. 

If you select this option, you will next be prompted to provide a URL.

import3.pngReviewing the Data File Schema

This stage allows you to review the columns of data which are being imported onto the platform and the overall schema of the dataset, including the column ordering, column datatype, and the number of rows which are headers.


Name: This is a text field which automatically take the text from the first row of the file as the header, which will be the column header in the platform dataset. These fields can be edited if you want to change the name of the column, for example, if you wanted to change ‘% of world population’ to ‘Percentage of world population’ in the image above. These column headers can be changed when the dataset is imported, as well.

Data Type: The platform reads the first few rows of each column to make an educated guess about the data type of the column. For example, the entries under ‘Country (or dependent territory)’ are read as Plain Text. More on the different data types our platform supports in the article Importing, Data Types and You!

Note: If you'd like to select a different datatype from the one the platform suggests you may select the appropriate type from the menu which appears when you click on the data type. Though it is possible to change the data type later on, it can sometimes be difficult especially if the dataset is large (~ > 50,000 rows). We advise a thorough review at this stage to avoid the hassle later on.

Source columns: These are the columns from the underlying dataset whose entries will populate the platform dataset under the ‘Name’ columns.

Other options include:

  • adding a row

  • deleting a row

  • clearing all rows to start with an empty dataset

  • resetting the schema configuration changes to the original

Under Headers, the platform will by default read the first row as the header. You can use the ‘Fewer Rows’ and ‘More Rows’ to set the accurate number of rows which are headers, if it isn’t the first.


Metadata Page

Metadata is descriptive data about the dataset. Here are the different kinds of information you can provide about your platform dataset.


Dataset Title (required): The minimum amount of metadata required is a title for the platform dataset. This has to be unique from all other datasets and views on the site. 

Brief Description: Any details you want to provide to elaborate on the title, even summarizing the different metadata information you are providing.

Category: You can select from a list of default categories which best encompasses the kind of data your dataset will hold. These defaults are: No category, Business, Education, Fun, Government and Personal. Administrators can configure more categories as options.

Tags and Keywords: You can add in words which will help make your dataset more searchable on the data portal. The individual tags/keywords should be separated by commas.

Licensing & Attribution

You can set the licensing terms for the data file, to appropriately reference your sources if people which to share it. To view the licensing options we support refer to the article Which licensing option should I use? 

You can name the Individual or Organization where you sourced the data from and provide a link if one is available. 


You will be able to attach files such as PDFs and images once the data file has already been imported by going to the About panel > Edit Metadata once the data file has been fully imported.

Privacy and Security

By default all imported data files have a private setting so that you can publish the file without it being visible to other users on the portal. When a dataset is private you can continue to make changes to the data until it is just right before you would like to make it public. You can change the privacy of a data by navigating to the Manage panel > Permissions.

…and that’s the last step! Click on ‘Finish’ and your file will be fully imported onto the platform.

*Note: You will need to be an administrator, publisher or editor on your Socrata site. Publisher and Editor roles are granted by the site administrator. 

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