Knowledge Base - Google Places

What is it

google-places-logoYou can now use Google's own database to enrich your maps with detailed information about places and locations across a wide range of categories, all over the world.

Using Geocode Factory and the Google places gateway plugin you can display airports, trains, business, banks, ATM's, museums, etc, as markers on a map alongside your other markers (from Joomla articles or other gateways like CB, SobiPro, Mosets, K2, etc).

This is the same database used by Google Maps and it "features over 95 million businesses and points of interest that are updated frequently through owner-verified listings and user-moderated contributions" (Google Places API).


Installation

Overview

Note: In order to use Geocode Factory's Google places gateway plugin, you need to have Geocode Factory 5 component already installed.

The gateway plugin for Google places is not included in your Geocode Factory 5 package by default. This file is an optional extra:

  • plg_geofactory_gw_gp.zip: Google places gateway plugin

 

Access, Download and Installation

The Google places Gateway plugin file "plg_geofactory_gw_gp.zip" is installed using the standard Joomla installer

Please read the Download, install and update manual for more information.

 


Gateway Plugin configuration

Inside the joomla “Plugin Manager” you will find the Gateway plugin you installed. To locate it more easily, you can use the filter by adding the text “geocode” or "geo" for example, like in the following image. You should see the following plugin.

 google-places-joomla-plugins-mg

Geocode Factory - Google places Gateway plugin

Configuring the Google places Gateway plugin you have the following options:

googleplaces-joomla-plugin

Colors of the lines between owners and content markers: If you choose to use the "Draw Lines" option (Specific Settings tab in Markerset manager) of Geocode Factory for the Google places gateway plugin, you can configure the color of the lines drawn between the markers here. To do so click on the hexadecimal color code and select the color from the palette pop-up. Or alternatively, you can type in the hexadecimal color code of your choice in the field directly.

Default avatar image: Optionally, you can select a default avatar image here for profiles without an image. If left empty the default Google pin will be used in this case.


Pattern manager and Google places items

When you enter the pattern manager you will see that one default pattern for Google places items was created automatically when you installed the plugin.

gp-default-pattern-mn

In the case of Google Places, there is nothing to configure for the pattern since all the geocoding data comes straight from google's own database.

You just need to make sure your Google Places pattern is published and you are set to go!

If you want to change the name of the pattern you can click on the "Default - Google places pattern", enter the pattern and make the changes. In any case this is what the the third tab "Assign fields to the values" looks like for Google Places:

google-places-pattern-assignation

There are no options to configure, both coordinates fields are set to "auto".


 

Markerset

The specific settings tab

The options on this tab are generated based on the currently selected pattern. In this tab you can select different filters for the current markerset allowing you to customize your data pool. You may also select some other options which are not filter-related.

In the case of the Google Places there are less options in this tab then there are for other Geocode Factory Gateway plugins. Unlike the other gateway plugins, the data is not stored on your site, it comes from Google's database. So for example you cannot perform any specialised sql queries.

 specific-setting-gplaces

Max Number of Markers: Here you can select the maximum amount of markers to display.

Search Mode: Google places API offers two different modes of search a-) Radar (Full) and b-) Nearby (Detailed). The first is more general and returns less details. This is best suited for a larger geographical area target as it returns up to 200 results each time (query). The other one - Nearby search (Detailed)- is best suited for a smaller geographical target area as it returns only 20 results per query but with more detailed information available to display.

Places Type: Here you can select among the types of locations available to display. You must select at least one type. You can of course select many types together, like in the above example where we chose Banks and ATM's. In the image below you can see the available types in this dropdown (there are more than 90 options available).

Only open now: You can choose between showing all the entries found or only the ones that are open now. "Now" means the time when the request is made by users who are browsing your website (in real time).

 google-places-types

Applies To

Geocode Factory 5