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Google Maps Platform – what is it and how can it help your business?

Andrew Thomas, Marketing

By Andrew Thomas, Digital Marketer at Hive Business

Back in May of this year, Google introduced the new Google Maps Platform (previously Google Maps APIs) which makes it easier for businesses and organisations to take advantage of Google’s location-based and mapping technologies to innovate and reach their goals.

The Google Maps Platform has a simple and updated pricing structure that offers users access to all of Google’s core mapping APIs. The new post-pay consumption-based pricing plan means you only pay for the services you use – no upfront costs, usage limits or termination fees.

The Benefits

The model is now comprehensively streamlined, with a single plan, site and console. The 18 different APIs are now organised into 3 core products which are Maps, Routes and Places – more on this below.
Enterprise users and start-ups can now focus on realising ideas without the worry of justifying upfront costs, as the initial license investment is lower.
The pay-as-you-go set-up means you only pay for what you use and it’s easy to check and view usage and costs in real time.
The ability to optimise your usage/choose between basic and advanced features.

The fact that the platform has categorised the 18 APIs into Maps, Routes and Places, makes it easier to understand and use them in development. Everyone’s needs are different and you might simply need one API or indeed a combination. To help you find the correct choices, you can take a look at the API picker.

Let’s break the features in each category:

Create custom map experiences that give users a real-life experience. Developers can build highly responsive experiences that paint the real world, using dynamic and static maps – Street View imagery and 360-degree views are also available to use.

Features & APIs included

  • Maps & Streetview
  • Maps JavaScript API
  • Maps Static API
  • Street View API
  • Maps SDK for Android
  • Maps SDK for iOS
Real-time traffic updates and detailed directions will offer users the best routes to get where they need to go.

Features & APIs include:

  • Directions
  • Distance Matrix
  • Roads
  • Directions API
  • Distance Matrix API
  • Roads API
  • Maps JavaScript API
Give users the chance to discover the world, with no stones left unturned. Places includes rich location data for over 100 million locations and allows users to find destinations using phone numbers, real-time signals and addresses.

Features and APIs include:

  • Location details
  • Current Place
  • Find Place
  • Geocoding
  • Geolocation
  • Time Zone
  • Places Library, Maps, JavaScript API
  • Places SDK for Android
  • Places SDK for iOS
  • Places API for Web
  • Geocoding API
  • Geolocation API
  • Time Zone API
  • Elevation API

Listing your business on Google Maps will give you a unique online presence, showing where you are based, meaning people will get to know who you are. Simply having the option for consumers and other businesses to hover over streets and areas located on the peripheries of your address will drive awareness of where you are. It’s one of the simplest ways to let people know that there is a particular service located in a particular area. Increasing your ranking on Google Maps will increase your ranking in the search also.

Google Business Listings are directly connected to Google Maps – you submit your information and this is used across the Google network. So, you have your business description, hours and address and a user might ask ‘what dental practice is open around me?‘ and Google will then filter the results from their network, including the information from your business.

To find out more about listing your practice on Google Maps please get in touch on 01872 300232 or email [email protected].

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