Category Archives: Geo Developers Blog

Google Geo Developers Blog

Google Maps and Particle partner to bring location-aware capabilities to IoT devices



Particle and Google Maps make it easy for IoT devices to identify their location without the use of a GPS. With a single line of code, a device or sensor dispersed across a network (an IoT edge device) can access Google’s geospatial database of Wi-Fi and cellular networks using the Google Maps Geolocation API.

This means you no longer need to invest in expensive and power hungry GPS modules to know the location of their IoT devices and sensors. Alternatively, you can also use Google Maps APIs in conjunction with existing GPS systems to increase accuracy and provide location data even when GPS fails, as it often does indoors.

Particle and Google now provide the whole chain—location aware devices that send context rich data to Google Cloud Platform. When IoT sensors know their location, the information they collect and send back becomes more contextualized, allowing you to make more informed, high-order decisions. By feeding context-rich data back into Google Cloud Platform, you have access to robust set of cloud products and services.

Although asset tracking is traditionally built on a foundation that includes GPS, satellite based GPS often fails in dense urban environments and indoors. In these scenarios, GPS signals are blocked by tall buildings or roofs. The Geolocation API is based on cell tower and Wi-Fi signals that continue to operate where GPS fails. This capability allows you to track your assets anywhere, both indoor and out.

In an IoT driven world, you can track more than just location. Additional signals can be critical to your objectives. For example, in the cold supply chain, temperature as well as location are key pieces of data to track in the factory, on the loading dock and in transit. This enables a holistic view of the supply chain and its ability to deliver a high quality product.
With a Wi-Fi enabled product built on the Particle platform, you can use the Google Maps Geolocation API to offer location aware auto configuration. This creates a seamless setup experience, enhanced operation and valuable analytics. Using geolocation your Particle devices can auto configure timezone, tune to available broadcast bands and connect to regional service providers.

For example, location aware window blinds can reference the number of available hours of sunlight and then make informed decision on how to passively heat a room. A smart coffee machine can report back its location allowing your marketing teams to better understand its market penetration and target demographic.

Visit the documentation for full directions to enable geolocation on your Particle devices. There are four basic steps to complete:

  1. Get a Google Maps API key enabled for Geolocation.
  2. Flash the Google Maps Firmware on your Particle Devices.
  3. Enable the Google Maps Integration in the Particle Console.
  4. Test it Out!

Google and Particle will be demoing the integration at IoT World beginning May 16. Stop by booth #310 near the main hall entrance to see the demo in person or for more information, review our developer documentation and get started today.

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About Ken: Ken is a Lead on the Industry Solutions team. He works with customers to bring innovative solutions to market.

Introducing structured menus in the Google My Business API

Every day, millions of people search on Google for places to eat and drink and many click to see the menu before making a decision. In fact, the Google search interest in "menu" related queries has seen a 30% increase in the last 2 years*. For businesses, this means they need to provide useful and relevant information to their customers in these moments that matter.

Last December, we enabled Menu URL editing in the Google My Business API allowing businesses to control and manage their menu link on Google Maps and Search. Starting today, businesses that use the Google My Business API can publish their entire menu to Google —itemized with descriptions, photos and prices--making it frictionless for their customers to view their menus on Google.

Arby’s, the quick-serve fast-food sandwich restaurant chain, was one of the first to take advantage of this feature and publish their full menu to Google. Now customers who search on Google for Arby’s can find accurate and up-to-date menu information provided by Arby’s as well as photos of those menu items.

"We update our menu every month with new and limited time offers. With the new Google My Business Menu feature we now have control over our menu data. We are able to provide our menu updates directly to Google via the Yext platform, and our updated menu populates on Google almost instantly. We no longer have to worry about old, unavailable menu items from third party sites showing up." said Sonja Uppal, Arby’s Digital Marketing Supervisor.

Developers can now use the Google My Business API to publish menu data to each of their business locations and see it update on Google in minutes. They’ll be able to publish multiple menus (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner) with sections (e.g. salads, entrees, dessert, drinks) that include individual menu items, each with a rich description, photo and price. It's easy to get started with our new developer documentation.

Here's a simple JSON request that shows how to publish a simple breakfast menu to a location:

REQUEST:
PATCH
https://mybusiness.googleapis.com/v3/123456/locations/
654321?languageCode=en-US&fieldMask=priceLists

 {
  "priceLists": [
    {
      "priceListId": "Breakfast",
      "labels": [
        {
          "displayName": "Breakfast",
          "description": "Tasty Google Breakfast",
          "languageCode": "en-US"
        }
      ],
      "sourceUrl": "http://www.google.com/todays_menu",
      "sections": [
        {
          "sectionId": "entree_menu",
          "labels": [
            {
              "displayName": "Entrées",
              "description": "Breakfast Entrées",
              "languageCode": "en-US"
            }
          ],
          "items": [
            {
              "itemId": "scramble",
              "labels": [
                {
                  "displayName": "Big Scramble",
                  "description": "A delicious scramble filled with Potatoes, Eggs, 
                  Bell Peppers, and Sausage",
                  "languageCode": "en-US"
                }
              ],
              "price": {
                "currencyCode": "USD",
                "units": "12",
                "nanos": "200000000"
              },
              "photoUrls": [
                "http://www.google.com/images/breakfast_scramble1.jpg",
                "http://www.google.com/images/breakfast_scramble2.jpg"
              ]
            },
            {
              "itemId": "steak_omelette",
              "labels": [
                {
                  "displayName": "Steak Omelette",
                  "description": "Three egg omelette with grilled prime rib, 
                   fire-roasted bell peppers and onions, saut\u00e9ed mushrooms
                   and melted Swiss cheese",
                  "languageCode": "en-US"
                }
              ],
              "price": {
                "currencyCode": "USD",
                "units": "15",
                "nanos": "750000000"
              }
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}

RESPONSE:

Response will contain an instance of the updated Location Object.

To learn more about the Google My Business API and to apply for access, visit our developer page. Questions or feedback? Contact the API team on the Google My Business API Forum.


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Posted by Aditya Tendulkar, Product Manager, Google My Business

*Google Trends

A new issue tracker for Google Maps APIs



Starting today, we’re working on facilitating better collaboration between you and the Google Maps APIs product teams, by upgrading to Issue Tracker, a tool we also use internally at Google. We have migrated all issues from the old code.google.com tracker to the new Issue Tracker hosted at issuetracker.google.com.
issuetracker.png
New Google Issue Tracker
code_small.png
Old Google Code issue tracker

Getting started with Google Issue Tracker should be easy. Check out our documentation for more information about how to create, edit, search, and group issues. By default, Google Issue Tracker only displays issues assigned to you, but you can easily change that to show a hotlist of your choice, a bookmark group or saved searches. You can also adjust notification settings by clicking the gear icon in the top right corner and selecting settings. For more information, check out the discussion of notification levels in the developer documentation.
issuetracker_maps_bookmark_group.png
The Google Maps APIs bookmark group

Searching for product-specific issues

Opening any code.google.com issue link will automatically redirect you to the new system. You’ll be able to find all of the issues from code.google.com in the Issue Tracker, including any issue you have reported, commented on, or starred. If you feel like anything is missing, let us know (how meta!) -- we have backups available!

Google Issue Tracker organizes issues into a component hierarchy. Starting at the Google Maps APIs bookmark group, you can drill down to a particular product's issues. And because each product (and some product features) have their own component, you can easily search for them. For example, you can view all Google Maps JS API v3 or Places API reports, which correspond to the old tracker’s full list for Maps API JS v3 and Places API. You can find the full list of Google Maps APIs components in the support section of our developer documentation. To search within those issues, leave the component ID in the search bar; removing it will search public issues from all Google products.

For detailed instructions on how to create issues check out this guide, Still have questions? Take a peek at our FAQ. If you can’t find the answer please let us know by commenting on this post.

The Google Maps APIs team wants your feedback!

Your feedback is important to us and makes a big difference! Make sure to take advantage of the starring feature for any issues you’re interested in to help us prioritize. As an example, after reviewing your feedback, we recently implemented Styled Maps for Google Maps Android API (received 365 stars) and Google Maps SDK for iOS (received 245 stars).

Please continue helping us improve our products by reporting issues and feature requests!

Google Maps APIs sessions at Google Next ‘17

Next 2017 is just a few days away and we’re looking forward to three days of insightful conversations, amazing technology and, of course, beautiful San Francisco. This year, Google Maps APIs business leaders, engineers, product managers, technical writers, and developer advocates are traveling from Sydney, New York and Mountain View to spend time with our customers and partners. We’re looking forward to sharing how our APIs help build the best location-based experiences for your customers.

Here are our sessions at Google Cloud Next ‘17:

Day 1 (March 8)

Location as a force multiplier: redefining what's possible for enterprises, Gayathri Rajan (VP Product Management).
1:20pm room 3018

Flexible development with the Google Maps APIs, Ankur Kotwal (Developer Advocate).
4:00pm room 3018

    Day 2 (March 9)

    Location-powered, on-demand economy: providing value with Google Maps APIs, Vishal Goenka (Group Product Manager).
    1:30pm room 3018
    Real world gaming: using location data to build immersive mobile experiences, Clementine Jacoby (Associate Product Manager).
    2:40pm room 3018