Thursday, May 24, 2012

Events support in the Google Places API

Many mobile apps allow you to attach your location to an update or photo before sharing it with friends. It’s great to tell your friends when you are doing something fun or exciting, and often this corresponds to a particular event like a concert or sports game. In this situation it’s rarely the venue that matters but the details of the event itself, such as the artist, band, or team.

Often these sharing apps let you enter the name of a place if it’s not returned when searching for places nearby. Apps using the Google Places API to handle these searches can report user added places back to the Places API, which will then blend them into subsequent search results so that other users benefit from them. However in order to attach an event to an update many users enter events as new places, which can cause the quality of search results to deteriorate over time as results fill up with events from the past.

To address this concern, the Places API now offers explicit support for adding events, which are associated with a specific place, such as a concert venue, and have a fixed lifetime. During the lifetime of an event it is returned in search results, attached to the place concerned. Once the event has ended it is no longer included in search results, but remains accessible by its unique id so that the user’s location history is preserved.

Andrés Ferraté of our Maps Developer Relations team discusses the Events features of the Places API in more detail in this screencast on the Google Developers YouTube channel.



For more information on how to add support for adding and surfacing events to your Places API applications, please check out our documentation for Events in the Places API, and Places API Search. If you have any questions please join our community of Places API developers on Stack Overflow.