Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Better predictions with Google Places API Autocomplete

While adding location-awareness to your application can bring tons of value and joy to your users, requiring them to type out full addresses or location queries often does the opposite. The Places API Autocomplete service, a feature of Google Places API and the Google Maps API v3’s Places Library, brings the same type-ahead-search technology from Google Maps to third party apps, helping you soothe some of your users’ address entry frustration.

To make autocomplete even more accurate and useful, we’re excited to announce an update that automatically biases predictions towards the user’s location based on the requester’s IP address. Now, results that are closer to the user will appear sooner in the API’s responses, saving users even more keystrokes and time. For a calendar app like Sunrise, where editing and adding locations quickly is important, this is a clear win for their users.


If you don’t want automatic location biasing via IP address, it can always be turned off by including other location biasing parameters in the autocomplete requests.

We’re also happy to announce our documentation now also includes a handy CSS guide to help developers add their own flair and style to the Autocomplete widgets.

With more accurate responses and customizability options, the Places API team is looking forward to more useful and beautiful autocomplete integrations. Please visit our developer documentation to learn more about the Places API. If you have technical questions, post them to the Google Maps API StackOverflow community, and if you have any feedback, please send it to us using the Google Maps API Issue Tracker.

Posted by Kevin Tran, Places API software engineer