Monday, June 23, 2014

New Place IDs and Add-a-Place features in the Places API!

With rich autocomplete and place search functionality, the Google Places API includes several powerful features to find, discover, and interact with the world’s places. Now we’re making it even easier for developers to work with places by launching Place IDs and enhancements to our Add-a-Place functionality!

Place IDs


Until today, Places API developers had to work with a dual-ID system: IDs (id) were used to compare places and References (reference) were for fetching a place’s information. The new Place IDs (place_id) can serve both those purposes, and are also shorter and simpler than the typically long and unwieldy References.

With today’s launch, Place IDs will be returned in all responses that include the existing ID and Reference fields, and they can also be used instead of References to uniquely identify a place in Place Details requests. We believe Place IDs have clear functional and simplicity benefits over the previous ID and Reference system, and we’ll be removing IDs and Reference support from the Places API a year from now, on June 24th, 2015.

Add-a-Place


While Google strives to bring developers the freshest local data, sometimes users know about places before we do, and we want to make sure they can add and interact with new places right away. That’s why the Places API has an Add-a-Place feature, that with today’s update, can also include a new place’s address, website, and phone number in the request.

This additional data will be automatically associated and returned with the new place, so end-users can benefit from additional useful place information without forcing developers to store extra data. The new fields also help streamline Google’s internal place moderation process, which augments Google’s places repository with places added via the Places API, leading to more up-to-date, comprehensive, and accurate local data for everyone.

A great example of how to integrate the Add-a-Place feature is Zodio, a popular social location-based app from Thailand. They use the Places API’s Add-a-Place feature in their check-in experience so their users can always share where they are, even if the place is currently missing from the Places API.
Zodio_Add_Name.png
Please visit our developer documentation to learn more about the Places API. As you build the next awesome location-based app, please post any questions to our StackOverflow community and send us feedback via the Google Maps API Issue Tracker.

Posted by David McLeish and Kevin Tran, Software Engineers, Google Places API