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Maria 🍦 Marshmallow
Maria 🍦 Marshmallow

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Introduction to Google APIs: pt. 1

Google APIs are a set of programming interfaces developed by Google that allow external developers to access Google's software and data, such as maps, search, analytics, and more. These APIs enable developers to build applications that integrate with Google services and can be used on various platforms, including web, mobile, and desktop.

You might use Google APIs in a variety of situations, such as:

  • Building a website or mobile app that integrates with Google Maps to display maps and location-based data;
  • Creating a social media analytics tool that uses Google Analytics to track website traffic and user behavior;
  • Developing a chatbot that uses Google's natural language processing API to understand and respond to user input;
  • Building a custom application that integrates with Google Sheets or Google Drive to access and manipulate data stored in a spreadsheet or file.

Overall, Google APIs allow developers to leverage the power and functionality of Google's services and platforms in their applications, making it easier to build and deliver rich and engaging user experiences.

You must obtain an API key and install the corresponding API client library for your programming language to use the Google API. You can then use the API's methods and endpoints to access the data and functionality provided by the API.

Google APIs are typically accessed over the internet using HTTP, and developers can use the API's documentation to learn about the available methods and how to use them. Some APIs may also have additional requirements or usage limits, such as daily quotas or usage fees, that developers need to be aware of.

How to Get Google API?

To get access to Google APIs, you must create a project in the Google Cloud Console and obtain the necessary credentials. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

Go to the Google Cloud Console. Sign in to your Google account. If you don't have one, you can create one for free.

Once you have signed in, you will be taken to the dashboard. From here, click the project drop-down in the top bar and select or create the project you want to use for the API. If creating a new project, give it a name and set a billing account.

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After selecting or creating your project, click the hamburger menu in the top left corner and select APIs & Services > Dashboard. On the Dashboard page, you will see a list of Google APIs already enabled for your project. To enable a new API, click the Enable APIs and Services button.

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This will open the API library, where you can search for the API you want to enable or browse through the categories to find it. When you find the necessary API, click on its name to view its details. On the API's details page, click the Enable button to enable the API. Repeat this process for any other APIs that you want to enable.

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To enabled the APIs you want to use, you will need to create credentials to access them.

On the Dashboard page, click the β€œCreate credentials” button. This will bring up a modal window where you can select the type of credentials you need. Several options include OAuth client ID, API key, and Service account key. Choose the option that best fits your needs.

Follow the prompts to create the credentials. Depending on the type of credentials you make, you may need to specify additional information, such as the application's name or the website domain that will be using the API.

Once you have created your credentials, they will be displayed on the Credentials page. Save the credentials somewhere safe, as you need them to access the API.

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In this post, I will obtain an API key to use the APIs.
API keys identify the application or project that's calling an API. They are generated on the project making the call, and you can restrict their use to an environment such as an IP address range, or an Android or iOS app. By identifying the calling project, you can use API keys to associate usage information with that project.

While API keys identify the calling project, they don't identify the calling user. For instance, if you have created an application that is calling an API, an API key can identify the application that is making the call, but not the identity of the person who is using the application.

API keys are generally not considered secure; they are typically accessible to clients, making it easy for someone to steal an API key. Once the key is stolen, it has no expiration, so it may be used indefinitely, unless the project owner revokes or regenerates the key. While the restrictions you can set on an API key mitigate this, there are better approaches for authorization.

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You can use any other type of credential that best fits your needs. Check out this article to know more about Authorization and Authentication.

What are Google Geocode API and how to implement it in API Tester mobile app?

Google Geocoding API allows you to geocode and re-geocode addresses. In addition to the server-side Java Client, Python Client, Go Client, and Node. js Client for Google Maps Services, this service is included in the client-side Google Maps JavaScript API.

Addresses, such as street addresses, can be geocoded to obtain their corresponding geographical coordinates, such as latitude and longitude, which can then be used to locate map markers or to center the map itself.

Simply said, reverse geocoding is the act of taking a set of geographical coordinates and turning them into an address that humans can use.

I'll use the API Tester mobile app to test a Google Geocode API. It is an easy-to-use free tool for testing and debugging APIs, which supports any type of API including REST, GraphQL, WebSocket, SOAP, JSON RPC, XML, HTTP, HTTPS.

Once you have obtained an API key from the Google Cloud console, you can test the Google Geocode API using the API Tester app. In this request, we will obtain information about the street address, Longitude, and latitude.

Here is an example of how you might do this: In the API Tester app, select the Get Request method and paste the Google Maps API endpoint URL from the list of available APIs.

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The request parameters include a "key" parameter with the "YOUR_API_KEY". Replace "YOUR_API_KEY" with the actual API key you obtained in the Google Cloud Console. This API endpoint URL can be obtained from the Google API documentation.

You can also find Query parameters from the documentation. For example, if you wish to search for a specific location, you might use a "query" parameter with the search query.

I have added three query parameters: β€œaddress”, β€œkey” which is mandatory, and β€œlating” known as Longitude and Latitude. Google Geocode API already has information about streets with longitude and latitude. It gives information about the area with postal code and everything else.

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Depending on the operation you want to perform, you may need to include additional parameters in the request. Press the play button, and here we go.

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Here you can see the Location information for the USA State of Pennsylvania that we were looking for with the help of the Google Geocode API.

Conclusion

The Google Geocode API is a powerful tool that can be used to access geolocation-related data. With the ability to retrieve location coordinates, addresses, and even full maps of given locations, this API has become an invaluable resource for businesses looking to provide their customers with accurate geographical information. The benefits of using the Google Geocode API are numerous: accuracy, ease of use, and affordability. Moreover, developers also can test their integration with the API using the easy-to-use API Tester mobile app.

In the next post, you will get a brief explanation of how you can consume Google Maps and other APIs.

Thanks for reading! I hope you found this article helpful. Feel free to leave any questions, comments, or suggestions.

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Top comments (8)

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muhammadiqbalid83 profile image
Muhammad Iqbal

Waiting

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mariamarsh profile image
Maria 🍦 Marshmallow

Happy to hear that☺️

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amyswen451 profile image
Amanda Swensen

Brief and clear explanation of Google APIs, love it!

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mariamarsh profile image
Maria 🍦 Marshmallow

Thanks, Amanda☺️

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Michaela Boyl

The post is cool! Waiting pt.2✨

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mariamarsh profile image
Maria 🍦 Marshmallow

Already working on it!

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igibsonconor profile image
Conor Gibson

Great! Thanks, Maria, for such a good description of how to get an access to Google APIs!

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mariamarsh profile image
Maria 🍦 Marshmallow

So glad you find this info helpful, Conor😊