Building location-based apps with the Places API

Building location-based apps with the Places API


JUSTIN CHU: Hi. I’m Justin Chu, product
manager of the Places API. Today I’m going to talk about
how you can use the Places API to build location-based
applications. Location-based applications
are becoming all the rage, and for good reason. With mobile devices,
apps are always at hand and can provide incredible
value based on the end user’s location and context. There’s a number of
Google services out there to help you integrate location
into your app, including Google’s geofencing
and geocoding APIs. Most of those APIs,
however, are typically based on user coordinates. Where the Places API excels is
that it partners user location with accurate,
comprehensive local data. So your app isn’t limited to
working just with coordinates, but instead, real places. Places, like the
Sydney Opera House, can help your app provide
more valuable use cases than just using
geographic coordinates. Sharing a place to
meet, attaching location to a status update,
adding events to a place, or even creating a list
of must-see attractions all become much easier when you
work with real-world places. So with that, let’s take a
closer look at the Places API. The Places API is part of a
larger Google Maps API product family. And you can use the API through
either a JavaScript library or standalone HTTP web service. The library is available by
the Maps JavaScript API v.3. The Places API is a
rich local search API that includes several powerful
location-based features that connect your end users to
places they care about. One of the biggest
features of the Places API is our data quality. The Google Places API is powered
by the same local listings database that powers Google
Maps, which includes over 100 million listings
all around the globe. These places are all embedded
and moderated by numerous teams in order to become
a real Google place, so developers can rest
easy that their apps are using the most up-to-date,
comprehensive, and accurate model of the world. Then moving from the
data side of things to more of the
smarts, how many times have you groaned when
faced with the address form on a mobile app? Don’t your thumbs
deserve something better than typing in a full
address in a small keyboard? As both a user and
a developer, you know that while typing
in a location or address is hard work, it’s often a
vital part of a user flow. Otherwise, how can
an app send a taxi to the right pick-up location,
know what area a user wants to rent an apartment
in, or ship the product to the right address? To help your app get
the data it needs and limit the pain
for your end users, the Places API offers
an Autocomplete service, which provides type-ahead
search functionality that both Airbnb and Sunrise
Calendar already use today. The Autocomplete API allows you
to choose what types of places you want to get back. So, if you’re real estate app
that only cares about cities, or a travel planning
app that only cares about establishments, or let’s
say a geotagging app that cares about both,
Autocomplete can be customized to
suit your needs. If you can’t tell ready, we’re
huge fans of Autocomplete. And with its clear
benefits to both developers like you and your
end users, we believe it’s a no-brainer
integration for any location-based application. In addition to
Autocomplete, another one of the Places API’s
primary features is Search. The Places API has
two main flavors of Search, Nearby
Search and Tech Search. Nearby Search allows you to
define a particular radius to discover and explore
establishments close by. Tech Search returns
information about a set of places based
on a query string. It’s like having the magic
of Google Maps’ search box inside your own application. Both endpoints also include
various knobs and levers so you can customize what
type of data is returned. For example, in
this map, we’re only showing museums
around central Sydney. Showing specific types
of places is only one of the many
customizations you can do. You can also choose to
return to your end users only places that are open now or
ones at a specific price level. With the Places API
Search features, you can enable your
users to find, explore, and share places
that matter to them. Finding a place is often
just the first step. Users might want more
information about a place beyond just its name,
location, and type. For example, if you’re building
a travel planning tool which suggests restaurants,
shops, and sites and hotels, your users will
likely need access to phone numbers, price
levels, and hours of operation to complete their reservations. They would also likely
need photos and reviews to help with picking the best
places to stay, visit, and eat. This valuable place information,
along with a handful of other useful
data fields, is all available with the Place
API Details service. To get a place’s
details, all you need is an identifier, which is
returned from both the Search and Autocomplete services. Now while we’re extremely
confident about Google’s local listing data
freshness, we also know that the world’s places
change very, very quickly. And sometimes your end users
may know more about new places before we do. The Places API allows
you to add new places so that your users can
interact with them immediately. Perhaps your app
encourages users to share exciting
place with friends. What happens if someone
discovers a shiny new Google shoe store, and they can’t
find it with the API? You can use the Add a Place
action to add the place to the app so that your users
can always interact with their model of the world
in addition to Google’s. This was a very quick
overview of the Places API. There’s so much more you can do. Please click this link to
get to our documentation. We also have a
thriving community of developers on
Stack Overflow, where you can ask technical questions
and find tons of advice and insight about how to
best use the Places API. Thanks so much for
checking out this video. I look forward to
seeing what you can do with the
Google Places API.

13 thoughts on “Building location-based apps with the Places API”

  1. Hi Chu,this is Jack,i'd like to know which google places api application that Airbnb.com used at the homepage.Would you give me some tips please?

  2. Yo google please give some tutorials and examples of how to use this <3 Good video, but I know what it does, just want to know how to implement it properly

  3. Is it possible to implement this in Unity…? Android Device as the specific target platform… If yes… Can you please walk me through the process…?

  4. please answer my question http://stackoverflow.com/questions/33817785/autocomplete-google-places-get-error-this-api-project-is-not-authorized-to-use

  5. Hello Justin, You seem like you know your stuff and I wonder if you could help me with something. I have API on my site and it says in a drop down that my site wants to use the users location yes/no. When you click yes instead of finding the persons postcode it instead just shows ENGLAND I know I am cheeky asking but I have asked everyone I can think of and you sound knowledgeable and I am desperate for help. The website that put it together Brilliantdirectories don't know the answer and I am pulling my hair out. Thanking you in advance

  6. hey bro can you please post you contact detailes ? i need a help related to location based android appplication can you please help me ?

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