Devices, Variables, and Dots

The main entities in Ubidots are:

  • Devices

  • Variables

  • Dots

Every time an Ubidots Device receives a sensor value in a variable, a data-point or "dot" is created. Ubidots stores dots that come from your devices inside variables, and these stored dots have corresponding timestamps:

An Ubidots Device is a virtual entity. This means you could map multiple physical devices to a single Ubidots Device, or map many variables from a single physical device to several Ubidots Devices. It is your decision how you want to organize your data in your Ubidots account.

Our recommendation is of course to map 1 Physical Device to 1 Ubidots Device.

The Dot

Each dot contains these items:




Size limit


A numerical value.


Up to 16 bit floating-point numbers.


Unix Epoch time, in milliseconds. If not specified, then our servers will assign one upon reception.



An arbitrary collection of key-value pairs. Mostly used to store the latitude and longitude coordinates of GPS devices.


1 KB

You can find further details below.


A numerical value. Ubidots accepts up to 16 floating-point length numbers.

{"value" : 34.87654974}


A timestamp, as best described here, is a way to track time as a running total of seconds. This count starts at the Unix Epoch on January 1st, 1970 at UTC. Therefore, the unix time stamp is merely the number of seconds between a particular date and the Unix Epoch.

Please keep in mind that Ubidots timestamps are in milliseconds.

But why did we choose to have a timestamp in milliseconds? This is not only a common practice in APIs, it also allows us to support many IoT applications where several datapoints are send in the same second.

"timestamp" : 1537453824000

The above timestamp corresponds to Thursday, September 20, 2018 2:30:24 PM.

PRO-TIP: A useful tool to convert between Unix timestamps and human-readable dates is Epoch Converter.


Numerical values are not the only data type supported; you can also store string or char data types inside what we call context. The context is a key-value object that allows you to store not only numerical but also string values. An example use of the context could be:

"context" : {"status" : "on", "weather" : "sunny"}

A context is commonly used to store the latitude and longitude coordinates of your device for GPS/tracking application use cases. All Ubidots maps uses the lat and lng keys from a dot's context to extract the coordinates of your device, in that way you just need to send a single dot with the coordinates values in the variable context to plot a map instead of sending separately both latitude and longitude in two different variables. Below you can find a typical context with coordinates values:

"context" : {"lat":-6.2, "lng":75.4, "weather" : "sunny"}

Please note that you can mix both string and numerical values in the context. If your application is for geo-localization purposes, make sure that the coordinates are set in decimal degrees.

Last updated