Google Tables for Viewing Large Excel Spreadsheets on the Web

You can now view very large amounts of data (like a huge Excel spreadsheet) in the browser with the help of Google Fusion Tables.

October 02, 2009

If you need to view Excel data without Microsoft Office, just upload the file to Google Docs and it will display the spreadsheet data in the web browser. This sounds like an easy plan but the problem is that you can’t import large volumes of data into Google Docs.

For instance, Google Docs would only allow you to import spreadsheets (or CSV files) that are less than 1 MB in size and have no more than 200,000 cells in 256 columns or less.

These kind of size limits should be sufficient for most spreadsheets but you may find them pretty limiting in case you are planning to view large amounts of data in Google Docs like the population statistics of the world. view large data

Enter Google Fusion Tables – it’s a new product that lets you view Excel files as large as 100 MB in the browser – you can either upload the files from the desktop or pull it directly from your Google Spreadsheets gallery.

Unlike Spreadsheet, Google Tables is primarily for handling tabular data so it can’t understand formulas or cell formatting. However, the system can recognize columns that contain values that can be geo-coded. For instance, if the column contains country names or street addresses, Google Tables can easily plot that data onto a world map.

google tables

You can also apply filters to the data or create views so that only a subset of data is visible to the outside world. Later, you can export the edited data out of Google Fusion Tables as a CSV file.

Related: Google Docs Guide & Tutorial