Benefits and Limitations of the Google Maps API for Locations


Benefit 1: Search for any type of location, including street addresses:

Benefit 2: Search for landmarks

Benefit 3: Search using different spellings of the same location (Montreal vs. Montréal), even using accents and other special characters: 

Benefit 4: Robust handling of misspellings / imperfect matches:

Benefit 5: Search results are displayed on a Google Map:

Additional Information:

» Google Map Search Results Add-On

Benefit 6: New manual geocoding module gives the website administrator full control over correcting the latitude and longitude assigned to each member:

Additional Information:

» How To Geocode Members

Benefit 7: Members will use Google Maps when filling out their profile information to provide an exact latitude and longitude for their listing (even if Google Maps does not recognize their written address):

Other benefits include: 

  • Location auto-suggestions are lightning-fast, as they are delivered directly from the Google Maps API.

  • Location data is pulled in real time from the Google Map's location database, meaning your locations always use the latest location data available from Google.

  • Location searches are automatically tailored to your users' likely behavior. For example, if a user is located in India, the system will read their IP address and provide them with location suggestions that are most likely to fit their needs.

  • Gain unprecedented control over how searches behave on your site.  For example, choose between having bounding-box search results or radius search results for every type of location search. For example, if a user searches for "90210", you will be able to restrict results to the northeast and southwest points of that specific zip code, providing incredible local results, OR choose to provide results within a set radius from the center of that zip code.


  • You must provide your own (free) Google Maps Javascript API key.  Please see this documentation for information about getting your own API key: Using Your Own Google Maps Javascript API Key


  1. The auto-suggest module when users are entering location information has limited customization options. Since it is directly returning results from the Google Maps API, the suggestions provided are not editable.

  2. Location search results cannot be strictly limited to specific geographic regions. Since the Google Maps API is built to return results intuitively, it will know where a user is located, and likely matches to their search are given precedence. If the search is ambiguous and could refer to several different locations, it will provide additional location suggestions, which CAN be controlled through your Admin settings.  However, the initial search a user enters may not provide results within your preferred countries if Google believes the search is most likely for a location outside of your preferred countries.

  3. Most websites and applications may use the Google Maps API free of charge. However, if you consistently generate a high amount of traffic, you may be required to pay for additional usage of the API. If your site or application generates 25,000 or more map loads each day for more than 90 consecutive days, Google may contact you to upgrade from the free API. But don’t worry!  If you go over the limits, Google will not immediately shut off your API access or display error messages on your site.  And if you are generating more than 25,000 map loads per day consistently, your website is already a major success!