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Google Places API General Availability, Autocomplete Service to Places API, New Places Library in Google Maps API Announced at Google I/O 2011

Google announced the general availability of Google Places API at the Google I/O. As a result the service launched includes many new features:

  • A globally consistent type scheme for Places, spanning more than 100 types such as bar, restaurant, and lodging
  • Name and type based query support
  • A significantly simpler key based authentication scheme
  • Global coverage across every country covered by Google Maps
  • Google APIs Console integration, which provides group ownership of projects, key management, and usage monitoring
  • Instant reflection of new Places submitted by an app in subsequent searches made by that app, with new Places shared with all apps after moderation
  • Real time reranking of search results based on current check-in activity, so that Places that are currently popular are automatically ranked higher in searches by your app

In addition to these changes, Google also added a companion “Autocomplete service” to the Places API, which predicts the Places a user might be looking for as they type. This service is based on the technology that powers the search field on Google Maps website, and can dramatically reduce the amount of typing needed when searching for a known place by name, which’s particularly valuable on mobile devices,” informs Google.

“Both the Places API Search service and Places API Autocomplete service are offered as XML/JSON REST based web services. These APIs are currently both in Google Code Labs, which means they’re not yet included in Maps API Premier. However we’re working to graduate the APIs from Code Labs in the near future, at which point the service will also be offered to Maps API Premier developers,” stated Google.

In addition to these web services, Google also launched a new places library in the Google Maps API.

To get started, please follow the instructions in the documentation for obtaining an APIs console key, and enabling the Places API on that key.

[Source: Google Geo Developers Blog]

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