Google Places API

For the past few days I've been trying to gather coordinates of places around KL, in the attempt to tag those places to our cell towers for a more in depth market analysis of our consumers.

While one could in a sense get those coordinate manually from Google Maps, and jot down the coordinates on a spreadsheet - it seemed like "not-so-smart" solution and troublesome to do in the long run (ie. your boss asks you to find the number of customers that's visiting a particular shopping mall today, and tomorrow he wants to know the numbers of customers that visits golf courses in the outskirt of town. In such case jotting down the coordinates manually would be very time consuming  - not to mention crazy)

Initial attempts include web scraping and looking into the source code of the map (more on that topic later). Somehow rather those didn't work well as expected.

Hence now I turn to Google API, or more specifically - Places.

There are actually a lot of stuff that you can retrieve of off Google if you just know how to do it. At this juncture I lament on why I it took me a long time to actually start learning about all this stuff.

Self-regret aside, at least I finally made the jump.

And boy was I glad.

I didn't really dive deep yet, but here are some preliminary results - where I've taken the JSON output from Google and converted them to CSV (I used this tool).

To further enhance on this to make it future proof (and save my time later), my plan is to write a script that enables the user to key in enter the location of interest, display it on a map, and outputs the location place with coordinates on a CSV format.


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