It's a new week which means it's time for another Google Office Hours via Hangout. This week we have Paul Saxman and Marcello Camello of the Google Maps API team talking in length about the Google Places API and the latest developments there.
The first subject being discussed in this Hangout is Google Places autocomplete. It's essentially the same autocomplete feature that you have on Google Maps. The difference is that you can control what autocomplete finds via a check system. The demo shows them checking off establishment to use autocomplete to find specific businesses.
The team then switches focus to talk about the advantages of search over autocomplete. They say that autocomplete is for those who already know what they want to find. Search is used more for those people who want to explore the map to find places that fit into categories like apartments, restaurants or government buildings.
A cool feature in search for the Places API is that you can find the top 20 most prominent places around a certain radius. After detailing the center of your radius, Places API will return the most prominent places as determined by the API.
During the Q&A session, they discuss some topics like public and private events via the Places API. You can make the events public or private, but you should know that the events are only available via your app. They also discuss the various ways you can add a location into Google Places. There are multiple ways to index locations so make sure you get your business in there now.
Check out the video below to see all the work being done on the Google Places API.