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My Community Explorer is now available. Explore select demographic, business, and resilience data to help identify potentially underserved communities.

Maximum Cell Return Limits Now Presented

What is happening? 

The U.S. Census Bureau is releasing new functionality to allow users to see the cell return limits if they apply to the dataset they are using. 

This functionality may break existing calls to the API Discovery, depending on how the JSON or XML are used.

This functionality will only be available with select datasets. 


Released to beta on July 6, 2017 and plan to release to production on July 19, 2017. Beta: Production:

How to use?

Developers can use the cell limit to help predict if their calls will fail.

Where you will see it?

In select datasets, the dataest json and xml will display the cell limits.


"c.is_cell_limit_discovery": true,

      "variable_cell_limit": "1546048",

XML – 

has-cell-limit="true" cell-limit="1546048"


Users can now determine if there is a cell limit on a dataset prior to running a large call.  This functionality will help users determine why they received a 400 error avoiding the “error: estimated query results exceed cell limit of #”.

Questions regarding this change? Please report any problems you encounter to


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