Dropdowns with identical values

I hope this is the right place to ask this. I’m hoping to figure out an easier way to handle a data type in my base. Basically, a lot of the data we use has cities in our area for different purposes (Address for the student, parent address, school address, things like that). So basically we have 5 different fields that are basically of a “City” type.

To import into our system, the city names have to exactly match what is in there, or they won’t import. To accommodate this, I made the city list a dropdown selection. We have a ton of cities we serve, and it seems every year we get new ones. Unfortunately, that involves updating the attributes for not only 5 fields, but due to confidential data regulations, those same 5 fields across multiple bases.

Is there some way to sync the dropdown selections for those city fields to a master list somewhere? This way, if a new city pops up, we can push it out to all of the bases for our customers, or if we find out someone put in a city name and spelled it wrong, we can fix that across all bases.

Thanks for your help!

My recommendation would be to create a base with one table in it for the Cities.

Then use Airtable’s sync feature, sync that table to every base you need it. From there you would replace your single select drop downs with a link to another record-type field pointing at the synced table. When you need to add a new city, you can do so (and will only be able to do so) from the original base. All synced tables will update themselves.


I’ll give that a shot! Out of curiosity, will that affect data being exported, for example, via CSV?

Right now our process involves getting a CSV of the base to import into our system daily. Will using the linked record give the output of the city name as we have it stored, or could that complicate things? I’ll test it out for myself but if you reply before I try it, I’ll take that as well. Thank you!

You should be able to import the records with the city names that exactly match the synced table, though I’m not sure what would happen if you try importing records that have a typo or a city not yet included in the table.

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If they don’t match exactly when someone imports information, I would hope they reject the field. Which is how I want it, so that the city names all sync up properly.

I’m thinking more of when you export from Airtable into a CSV (Using the download CSV option in the grid view), will that show the city values. On my first test run it appears that the city name shows up just fine when I download a CSV and open it up.

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