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Getting started with the Google Places API

Getting started with the Google Places API

Hi. I’m Chris Broadfoot. I’m an engineer on the Google
Maps Developer Relations team. In this tutorial, I’ll be
showing you how to get started with the Google Places API. The Google Places API gives
you access to Google’s database of over 80
million places. There’s worldwide coverage and
detailed information about each and every place. It’s completely free to use, and
in this tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to
get started. Before we begin, let me show
you one of my favorite websites built with
the Places API. shows you
how to survive the zombie apocalypse. The first thing you’ll notice
is that it doesn’t look anything like Google Maps. These guys are using a great
map style that gives you a fantastic undead
look and feel. Places that are important during
the zombie apocalypse are displayed and marked on the
map, such as gun stores, grocery stores, airports,
and doctors. I can move the character around,
and based on where I place him, new results are
marked on the map. I can also use the textbooks
at the top of the page to select a new location. This is the best time to use
Places Autocomplete. A feature I’ll be showing you
how to use in a moment. You, too, can build apps like
the one I just showed. It’s worth reading through the
documentation to get a good understanding of the
capabilities. In this tutorial I’ll be
demonstrating some of the features of the Places API. The Google Places API is
accessible via our Web Service from the language of your choice
or from your website using the library in the
Maps JavaScript API. The Web Service can
send responses formatted as JSON or XML. Today, I’ll be using
the JSON version. To start using the Google Places
API, you first need to sign up for a Places API key. This allows us to issue you
more quota when your application exceeds the courtesy
limit of 1,000 requests per day. First, visit the developer
console found over on the Google Developers website. You’ll need to create a project,
then enable the Places API. Read through the terms
of service carefully. There are some important points,
including some about use of data returned
from the API. Once you’ve done that, you can
now obtain your key from the API access screen. This key will be used for all
web service requests. Let’s take a look at Places
Auotocomplete. Google Places Autocomplete
allows you to add similar functionality to
the Google Maps search box on your website. Places and addresses are
suggested as I type into the standard HTML input box. As I begin typing 1600
Amphitheatre Parkway, Google’s Mountain View headquarters, I
get suggestions based on my partial input. Note that the matching substring
is highlighted on each suggestion. Using Autocomplete via the
JavaScript library is simple. First, you need to include the
Places library when you load the Google Maps JavaScript
API. Just add libraries equals Places
to your bootstrap. Add Autocomplete to an existing
input element in your page by passing in the element
as a parameter to the Autocomplete’s constructor. Autocomplete functionality
is now attached to the input element. To be notified of when a user
selects a place, listen to the place changed event on the
Autocomplete object. Details of the selected place
can then be obtained inside an event listener. Just call Get Place on the
Autocomplete object to retrieve the details about
the selected place. In this example, we simply
output three fields– the formatted address, the
URL, and location. There are many other fields
that you can use in your application. Autocomplete is also available
as a web service accessible from any programming language. Using the web service opens up
more creative possibilities of displaying and augmenting
results. Just use your favorite HTTP
package or library. Send an HTTP get request. Include the partial input
from the user. In addition, there are two
required parameters for each web service query– key and sensor. Use the key that you generated
previously from the developer console. The sensor must be set to true
if the location is derived from any sensor such as a GPS. Otherwise, it’s safe
to set it to false. The response contains a status
code and a list of predictions. Each prediction will be
comprised of a description, which is a string that you
should present to the user, a breakdown of the terms, which
make up the suggestion, a list of the substrings matched
to the user input– you can highlight it in
your user interface– and an ID, which we’ll
ignore for now. You also get a place reference,
which you can use to fetch additional
Place details. Place details can be fetched
using a place reference. Again, send an HTTP
get request to the details end point. The only other required
parameters are key and sensor, which I mentioned previously. Attributes of the place
will be returned. Some sample output
is shown here. And the response will contain
a status code, data attributions formatted as
HTML, and a place result structure containing detailed
information such as name, location, formatted instruction
address, category phone number, amongst
other attributes. Look at the documentation
for a complete list. While a details request is
available using the JavaScript library, it’s not necessary to
use it if you’re using the Autocomplete control. Details are returned
automatically upon selection of a place in the dropdown. You might still want to store
the reference for later retrieval of the
place details. It’s possible to perform
some filtering on the Autocomplete API. The first kind of filter
is the type filter. This refines predictions based
on the type of result. There are currently
four options– geocode, establishment,
regions, and cities. Geocode will return addresses
and regions, and establishments will
return businesses. The next kind of filter allows
restriction of predictions to a single country. Simply add the components
parameter. In this example, all
Autocomplete predictions are restricted to France. This is also valid on the
Autocomplete control. Just set the component
restrictions property. As I begin typing California,
the Autocomplete control will only offer me suggestions
in France. Autocomplete is optimized to
select a place based on partial input. It’s optimized for very low
latency so that users see results immediately after
every key press. Places searches are
more powerful. Complete search criteria
is at your disposal. Send an HTTP get query to
the search end point. You should specify location
and a radius. You will receive a status code,
data attributions in HTML format, and an array
of place results. You’ll notice that compared to
Autocomplete responses, much more information is returned
about each place. Places search is also
available from the JavaScript API. Simply create a place of service
object, then call the search function. You’ll need to pass in a
callback function that will be called with the place results. In this example, we simply print
the name of types of each place that’s returned. It’s also possible to restrict
your search by category by using the types of parameter. We support more than 130
types, including bar, restaurant, lodging, shop,
and many more. You can see the complete list in
our Places reference docs. In this example, the query
provided searches for ATMs around the Sydney central
business district. Sometimes, the type of place you
want to search for is not included in our place types. For example, if you’d like to
search for surf schools, you can use the keyword parameter. The places API will match the
keyword provided against all known text associated with a
place, including its website and user reviews. It’s also useful to refine
a type search. For example, if you’d like
to search for Italian restaurants, you can do a
search for types equals restaurant and set keyword
to Italian. Places search results can
also be refined by exact matches of the name. Just specify the
name parameter. In the previous examples,
results were ranked according to their prominent score. Alternatively, results may be
ranked by distance from the center of the query. Just specify the rank
by parameter. When using distance ranking,
you must also specify some other search criteria. In example here, we used
distance ranking and keyword filtering to find the closest
sushi restaurant. This was just an overview of
the Google Places API. There are many more details
and features that you can explore over on the Google
Developers website. Thanks for listening, and I
look forward to seeing the apps that you develop.

16 thoughts on “Getting started with the Google Places API”

  1. Very helpful. Can you add the code snippets from the video somewhere? I want to try and recreate some of your scenarios.

  2. i tried to use google maps api for coffee shop app..but i could get only a blank page..whats the error in my code?

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html lang="en">
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="initial-scale-1.0, user-scalable=no">
    <script type="text/javascript" src="">
    var map;
    function initialize(){
    var center=new google.maps,LatLng(37.422, -122.084058);
    map=new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById('map'),{
    <div id="map">

  3. Can I verify any address in the using this API – basically I need put Unformatted address data from DB and get that verified if it's address or not? Is this completely free to use for any corporate?

  4. When are you punks gonna add the popular times data feed to the API ?!?!?! I've been salivating over that feed for like a year now šŸ™

    how this can be solved..

  6. I love how the site showcased now reads: "Unfortunately, due to changes in Google Maps API pricing, I can no longer run Map of the Dead without paying hundreds of dollars a month in fees."

  7. Hello Sir..I am a new developer of java programming…I just want to ask..why this.maps google api always return request denied, when I execute from java application..? But return the correct data from Web browser ( with the smae parameters )..? Tq

  8. Google APIs seem like a scam, they never tell you they are not returning all the reviews or even pictures. They only return a handful, and I am sure they have tons of licensing issues too. I would stay away from these useless MAP APIs, nothing but trouble

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