I want to copy the data in a public file (link in code below) and put each row of the data as a sub-list, i.e., in the format

{{Beginn,Ende,Dienst,ein/ausgehend,Laenge,Breite,Richtung,Cell-Id_A,Cell-Id_B,},{8/31/09 7:57,8/31/09 8:09,GPRS,ausgehend,13.39611111,52.52944444,30,45830,XXXXXXXXXX,},{....},..}    

I tried copying to Mathematica using the code


but it gives me the following error message

RegularExpression::maxrec: Recursion limit exceeded; positive match might be missed. >>

I tried the alternative by first saving the file as CDFdata.csv on my machine under and used the code

Import["CDFdata.csv", Path -> "E:"]  

but I get this error message

Import::nffil: File not found during Import. >>  

Can someone please provide guidance on how to proceed? Thanks.


1 Answer 1


By importing that URL you are asking Mathematica to do something overly complex, since you are asking it to parse the page source code for the Google Docs interface. Even if Mathematica could process it, all you would have would be symbolic XML representing that HTML code, not the values that you want.

It should however work to import the data if you export it as CVS first. I did this, and it worked. So just make sure you have the filename all right, here is how I found the file on OS X (then name that was chosen by default started with VDS_MS):

Import[First@FileNames["VDS_MS" ~~ __, {"~/Downloads"}]]

E: is probably a drive on Windows or something, I'm not familiar with the syntax on that platform. But that's where your problem lies, so just work on finding the correct path to where the file is and it should work for you.

  • $\begingroup$ It seems to be a problem with Mathematica reading non-Mathematica files on my computer. I tried moving to another drive, e.g., Import["VDS.csv", Path -> "C:\\Documents and Settings\\IW\\My Documents\\Downloads"] but failed. Does the failure of the following example (from Mathematica 9.0 Documentation on Path) dir = $TemporaryPrefix;Put[47!, ToFileName[{dir}, "fact"]] provide a clue? The error message was OpenWrite::noopen: Cannot open C:\Documents and Settings\IW\Local Settings\Temp\m\fact. >> $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2013 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ What happens if you do SetDirectory["C:\\Documents and Settings\\IW\\My Documents\\Download"] and then FileNames[]? If the path is right, you should see a list of files and VDS.csv amongst them. I'm not sure how to interpret the error you've given. $\endgroup$
    – C. E.
    Apr 25, 2013 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ I tried 'SetDirectory["C:\\Documents and Settings\\IW\\My \ Documents\\Download"] ; FileNames[]` but got the error message SetDirectory::cdir: Cannot set current directory to C:\Documents and Settings\IW\My Documents\Download. >> Per Mathematica this means there is no such directory. Interestingly, it did output the list of folders under My Documents folder including Download as if it could only go so deep. $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2013 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ Well, but if you put the file in My Documents and you can see the file with FileNames[] then works when you try to import it without entering a path, just Import[filel], right? $\endgroup$
    – C. E.
    Apr 25, 2013 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. That works. Also I noticed an extra .csv that may have been confusing the program as to the file type. $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2013 at 17:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.