Improve Place Picker at a Location

Beacons provide a high quality context signal that allows you to mark a particular place in the world, improving place detection. Users regularly share places from their devices, and beacons form part of the suite of signals that are used to make that task easier.

The Place Picker (available for Android and iOS) features a dialog that displays an interactive map and a list of nearby places, including places corresponding to geographical addresses and local businesses. Users can choose a place, and your app can then retrieve the details of the selected place.

The signal from your beacon can be used by the Places API across any app. This means that the experience for visitors to your location can be improved by the presence of beacons both in your apps and in other contexts (for example, sharing content from your location in Google Plus or sharing location through Hangouts).

Follow these steps to improve location detection using beacons:

  1. Obtain a beacon that broadcasts Eddystone-UID, iBeacon, or AltBeacon frames.
  2. Provision the beacon before deploying it. Check with the beacon manufacturer for specific instructions on how to provision your beacon.
  3. Register the beacon using one of our open-source sample apps or directly by using the Proximity Beacon API's register method.
  4. Make sure to set expectedStability to STABLE.
  5. Add a valid placeId. You may need to add a place first.
  6. Optionally, add latitude and longitude coordinates, and a floor level.
  7. Attach the beacon at the place you’d like to label, following the guidelines of your beacon manufacturer. If in doubt, pick a central location, for example on the ceiling in the middle of a room.

It takes a few days for the beacon registration to start having an effect on the Place Picker, depending on the number of Android and iOS devices that sight the beacon.