Socrata was acquired by Tyler Technologies in 2018 and is now the Data and Insights division of Tyler. The platform is still powered by the same software formerly known as Socrata but you will see references to Data & Insights going forward.

Force Byte Order Mark with $$bom

Some applications, like Microsoft Excel for Windows, get a bit “confused” when reading data that contains UTF-8 encodings. They’ll assume a file is ASCII-encoded, which will then fail if later the file turns out to include UTF-8-encoded characters.

Many clients now either assume UTF-8 from the start, or allow you to override their chosen encoding when loading a file. For those that do not, you can use the $$bom flag to request that output include the “Byte Order Mark” or “BOM” at the beginning of the file. The BOM is a special character that, when included as the first byte in a file, signals that it should be parsed as UTF-8.

If you encounter errors parsing UTF-8 data in your client, add the $$bom=true flag to your SoQL query to force the inclusion of the BOM:$limit=5&&$$bom=true

Note that the BOM is invisible, so you’ll just have to believe me that it’s in there.