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  • Writer's picture28East

Help users discover more with new Places API updates

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Google Maps Platform defines the Places API as a service that returns information about places using HTTP requests. Places are defined within this API as establishments, geographic locations, or prominent points of interest.

The Places API provides a wealth of information about businesses and places around the world, including details on their location, contact information, ratings and reviews, and more. The addition of new attributes and place details can provide even more information to users, helping them make informed decisions about where to go and what to do. By providing this information, the Places API plays an important role in helping businesses attract new customers and retain existing ones. It can also be a valuable resource for individuals looking to explore their local area and find the best places to eat, shop, or visit.

By leveraging Places API, we at 28East can help our customers provide a more personalised and efficient experience for their users. Whether it's integrating with existing applications, creating customised maps, or providing real-time location data, we can help our customers get the most out of this powerful location-based tool.

Display wheelchair accessible entrances

The inclusion of wheelchair accessibility data in the Places API is a great step forward for making it easier for individuals with mobility challenges to find accessible destinations. That’s helpful for the nearly 1-in-6 people with mobility challenges, and helps anyone with a stroller, luggage, delivery cart, or other need that might require a ramp.

Wheelchair accessible entrance is a field available in the Basic category of Places API that is included in the base cost of Places requests at no additional charge.

Display special and secondary opening hours

Businesses sometimes adjust their opening hours for holidays or other reasons. Or they may have specific hours for different services at the same location–such as a drive-through that is open longer than the dining room, or a pharmacy that closes earlier than the retail store. Now, in addition to displaying regular open hours, you can account for schedule variations with these new parameters:

  • The "opening_hours" field in the Places API provides information on the regular hours of operation for a given business or place.

  • The "current_opening_hours" field in the Places API provides information on a place's schedule for the next 7 days, including special hours for any given day.

  • secondary_opening_hours provides the place's secondary schedule for the next 7 days, and is structured similarly to the "current opening hours" field.

Place opening hours, including special hours and secondary opening hours are fields available in the Contact category in Places API.

Display a short business description

The editorial summary field in the Places API provides a one-line description of a place on Google Maps, created by Google. This short summary provides a concise overview of a place and its offerings, and can be displayed in the language of your choice. Having this information available through the Places API allows businesses to integrate this information into their apps, providing users with a quick and easy-to-understand summary of a place. This can help users make informed decisions about whether a place is worth visiting, and can also help businesses by allowing them to highlight the key features of their establishment. The editorial summary field is an important tool for improving the discoverability and accessibility of places, and can be a valuable resource for both users and businesses.

Share relevant attributes about dining and shopping services

Helping your users choose a restaurant requires sharing quite a bit of information. Does a restaurant or shop offer take-out? Does it take reservations? Does it serve brunch? And so on. With the new available data fields for dining and shopping services, businesses can provide more information to help users make informed decisions about where to go. Attributes include:

  • curbside_pickup

  • delivery

  • dine_in

  • takeout

  • reservable

  • serves_breakfast

  • serves_lunch

  • serves_dinner

  • serves_beer

  • serves_wine

  • serves_brunch

  • Serves_vegetarian_food

Restaurant and shopping attributes are available in the Atmosphere category in Places API.

Sort reviews in your preferred language

The Places API provides access to user-written reviews about a place, which can be an important source of information for users when making a decision about where to go. With the new reviews_sort parameter, businesses can request the most relevant or most recent reviews, which can provide users with the most up-to-date information about a place. The Places API can also return translated reviews in the preferred language of the request, which makes it easier for users to understand the information, even if they do not speak the original language of the review. The reviews_no_translations parameter provides the option to opt out of receiving translations, in case the original language is preferred. These updates to the Places API provide greater flexibility and control over the review information that is returned, which can help create a more tailored and personalized experience for users.

Review sorting and review translations are available in the Atmosphere category in Places API.

All these new fields are available in the Places API, and are being released in phases across Google’s Places Library, Maps JavaScript API, Places SDK for Android, and Places SDK for iOS. They plan on introducing more attributes to the Places Details API so businesses can continue giving customers the information they need.


Need help Implementing these features? Book a demo with us today to chat to one of our experts. We are always ready to assist you and help you find the right solution for your needs.

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