Google Places API Gets Events SupportBy: Zach Walton - May 25, 2012
Google is always supporting their APIs with new features and the like, but they’ve been spending a lot of effort on the Places API recently. That’s to be expected since the Places API is great for businesses and the regular users who want to find said businesses. There are still a few features lacking, but Google is quickly fixing that.
The new feature hitting the Places API today is support for events. If you use Facebook at all, you understand the basic premise behind the event. It allows users to designate a place and time to whatever is happening in their life or in the life of others. It’s also great for businesses to advertise an upcoming concert or show at their venue.
Previously, events on the Places API had to be set to separate entries even if they were at the same place. That’s why you would have the local bar and music joint being listed once as a business and then listed five other times as the venue for a concert. A big feature of the Places API is that you’re able to search for venues, but having that many events clogging up the Places API broke the search function over time.
The new event support in the Places API will fix that problem. There is now an explicit option for adding events, and it’s a bit more targeted this time around. Users can now attach events to a specific place with a specific lifetime. Once the event has occurred, it will no longer show up in search results. It will remain in the background, only accessible by a unique ID, to help preserve a user’s location history.
On top of events, the Google Places API has received updates like auto-complete and a more refined search. All these updates seem poised to put Google Places on track to complement the likes of Yelp! and Foursquare in location-based business promotion.
For those who learn better from reading, you can check out the Events documentation right here. For those who learn better with the use of audio-visual aid, Google has also created a video that details the new Events feature.