Saturday, October 24, 2009

Import Calendar data into Google Calendar via CSV files

You can import CSV files into an existing Google Calendar (but watch the time zones). Here's the format outline ...
About CSV files - Google Calendar Help

Subject,Start Date,Start Time,End Date,End Time,All Day Event,Description,Location,Private
Final Exam,05/12/08,07:10:00 PM,05/12/08,10:00:00 PM,False,Two essay questions that will cover topics covered throughout the semester,"Columbia, Schermerhorn 614",True
The above example omits the usual CSV quotes from most of the strings, but elsewhere we're told they're optional. (In practice you should use them for all strings.)

The documentation is unclear, but looking at my Google Calendar settings it looks like you import into an existing calendar. I don't know if it appends or replaces, I'm guessing append.

I expect to try this soon for our hockey org calendars.

Update 11/1/09: This was an absolute bugger to get to work. Google is pissily picky about the precise format and there are no useful error messages. During the times I was attempting this Google Calender went briefly AWOL -- something that happens far too often.

Here's the header and first row of the CSV file that I was finally able to import. It looks like you need the bloody seconds in the date. I worked with Excel for Mac, used the convert functions to turn text into numbers, then chose the precise format, then exported.
Subject,Start Date,Start Time,End Date,End Time,All Day Event,Description,Location,Private
Edgumbe Peewee Hockey,10/24/09,2:10:00 PM,10/24/09,3:10:00 PM,FALSE,Practice, Highland North,FALSE
Google must have given this chore to an intern who they hated. The feeling was evidently mutual.

Update 11/29/09: There is no way to correct a mistake. I imported 40 events into an existing calendar, and realized I'd made a mistake. I couldn't rapidly remove them, nor could I purge the calendar and reimport. I had to delete the calendar -- and all the subscriptions -- so I could start over. To think some people wonder why I hate the cloud ...

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