Uploading and using your own databases

The Texas A&M, NAACCR, NCI, Geocoding website allows you to upload your own databases for processing with any of the tools available on the site. Each of these tools require specific data elements to be included. For these details, please see each individual tool's documentation.

All services use the same file formats. For example input data files please review the geocoder input sample files and substitute the applicable fields for the service you wish to use.

Regardless of the specific data items that each tool requires, the basic process of uploading a database works the same way for each tool. This consists of two steps:

  1. Uploading your data file
  2. Validating that the file can be opened and read


Step 1) Upload your data file

Click the browse button

At the bottom of the Upload Databases page you will see a browse button that you should click to identify the file you wish to upload on your local machine. This button is shown in the following image:

Upload database form

Choose your file

After you click browse, an open file dialog will appear from which you should navigate your computer to select the file that you wish to upload and click the Open button. This is shown in the following image:

Choose the database to upload


The file browse dialog will allow you to select any file type, but only the specific types of data files listed in the next table can be uploaded.
Database type File extension
Microsoft Access 2003 and Microsoft Access 97* *.mdb
Microsoft Access 2007 *.accdb
Comma separated values *.csv
Text delimited *.txt

* Access 97 does not support the decimal datatype, so you will run into problems if/when you click on the auto generate button to create output fields in your database. Access 97 users will need to create the output fields before uploading databases for use in the batch processing.

Database details

After you click the Open button on the file browser, your database file name should be listed in the text box and the type of the database should have been selected automatically from the dropdown list of database types. This is shown for an Access database (*.mdb)in the following image:

Database chosen


For Access and Access 2007 files, you are completed specifying your input database. For CSV and text files however, you must indicate a few more details about the data format within your data file. This is shown in the follwing image:

CSV Database chosen


An explanation of the data items that you must identify are listed in the next table:

Element Description Acceptable values
First row contains column headings This option specifies whether or not the first row in your data file contains the column names. This option is mandatory and can not be de-selected. Checked
Text seperator The character that seperates columns in your data file. A value must be selected for this element. comma (,)
tab
bar (|)
semicolon (;)
space ( )
Text qualifier The character that wraps around the value of text field data. A value must be selected for this element, but that value can be "none". Most commonly this should be double qoutes. double quote (")
singe quote (')
none


All services use the same file formats. For example input data files please review the geocoder input sample files and substitute the applicable fields for the service you wish to use.

Click the upload button

Once you have selected your database and identified its data elements, you should click on the Upload button. This will start the transfer of your file from your computer to the NAACCR Server.

The amount of time this transfer will take will vary depending on the size of your file and the speed of your internet connection. Please leave the upload page as is until the upload completes. Do not hit refresh or navigate to another page, either action will corrupt and cancel your upload in progress. The page will refresh itself when the upload is finished.

Database you own

After you have clicked the upload button and the database transfer has completed, your newly uploaded database will be added to the list of database that you own. This is shown in the next figure:

Database you own


This list shows you the history of the database you have uploaded, along with the status, type, and size of each.

Database states

The databases that you have uploaded will be in one of three possible states:
Database state Description
Removed The state of a database that has been deleted from the server
Not validated The state of a database that has been uploaded but not yet validated, and it therefore not ready for use by any of the NAACCR batch processing tools.
Ready The state of a database that has been uploaded, successfully validated, and is ready for use by any of the NAACCR batch processing tools.

Database removal

Any of your uploaded files can be removed from the server at any time by clicking on the delete button. This action permenantly deletes the file from our servers and can not be undone. We can not provide you with backup copies if you delete your database by accident. Because of this, you will be prompted to confirm your intent before the deletion is completed. This is shown in the next figure:

Database validation

Once you have uploaded a new data file, you need to click on the validate button before you will be able to use it for any of the batch processing services. Details on this topic are further down in the 2nd Section on this page.

Downloading a database

After you have uploaded and validated a database, you can download it before, during, or after processing by clicking on the Get button.

Sharing a database

After you have uploaded and validated a database, you share it with other users of the NAACCR Shotest Path site by clicking on the Share button. Details on this topic are further down in the 3rd Section on this page.


Step 2) Validate your data file

Click the validate button

After you upload a database, you need to make sure that your data are in a correct format that can be read by the batch processing services on the NAACCR Shotest Path site. To do this, click on the validate button next to your newly uploaded database.This will be bring you to the validation page shown in the next figure:

Validation page


If your data file has validated correctly, you should see the first few rows of data listed in the table on the page. If you do not see your data or you recieve an error, you data has not validated properly. In this case you should first review your data files to make sure they are what you think they are. If they are indeed correct and validation still fails, please contact us for assistance.


Step 3) Share your data file (optional)

Click the share button

After you have uploaded and validated your data files, you have the option to share them with other users of the site. This means that other users will be able to download and run processes on these databases. These users will not be able to delete your database or perform any validation on it.

Share database page

After you click the share button, you will be brought to the share databases page. On this page you can enable and disable database sharing, and add users who will be able to see the database. To add a user enter either their valid NAACCR Shotest Path username or the email associated with their NAACCR Shotest Path account. This is shown in the next figure:

Shared databases page

Why would I share a database?

For strickly batch processes like geocoding and address processing, it does not make too much sense to share your databases with other users. However, for interactive processes such as geocode correction and polygon tracing, it may be usefull for a single user to upload a data file and have a team of people working on interactively procesing the same data file simitaneously.