Use the Region Lookup API with Google Sheets

You can look up Place IDs for regions offline by calling the Region Lookup API from Google Sheets using Apps Script. This is recommended for datasets where input parameters are ambiguous and could resolve to multiple Place IDs (for example "10 Main Street), which may require debugging. An example script has been provided, with the following functions:

  • SearchRegionByLocation searches for a place whose boundary contains the specified latitude/longitude coordinates.
  • SearchRegionByAddress searches for a place whose boundary contains the specified address.
  • SearchRegionByPlaceId searches for a place with the specified place ID.
  • LookupRegionByName looks up a place with the specified name.
  • LookupRegionByUnitCode looks up a place with the specified unit code.

Region Lookup custom functions

To use the custom functions, you must first add the custom functions .gs script code to the Apps Script script editor. Once the script is loaded, you can call the functions as you would call any other spreadsheet function. The scripts take input data from cells. Call custom functions from the sheet like this: =LookupRegionByName(A2,C2,D2,E2)

The results are output in the cell containing the function, and the two cells to the right. If candidate place IDs are available, results for those place IDs will also be output in adjacent cells. A link to the place page displaying the region name and polygon in Google Maps is provided for verification. In the following example, if the function were pasted into cell A1, the results would look similar to this:

Place ID Place Page URL Error code
ChIJLQQwv4qBb0gRIMaY1COLDQU https://www.google.com/maps/search/?api=1&query=%20&query_place_id=ChIJLQQwv4qBb0gRIMaY1COLDQU

In the preceding example, the request succeeded so the error cell is blank. For errors which prevent the script from running properly (such as omitting a valid API key), the error will appear as a comment for the cell containing the function.

Add the custom functions to Apps Script

  1. Open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Select the menu item Extensions > Apps Script.
  3. Delete any code in the script editor.
  4. Copy and paste the code from the example below into the script editor.
  5. Replace YOUR_API_KEY with an unrestricted API key belonging to a project that has the region lookup API enabled.
  6. At the top, click Save .
/**
 * @fileoverview Provides custom Geo functions in Google Sheets for matching boundaries.
 * * SearchRegionByLocation searches for a region whose boundary contains the specified latitude/longitude coordinates.
 * * SearchRegionByAddress searches for a region whose boundary contains the specified address.
 * * SearchRegionByPlaceId searches for a region whose boundary contains the specified place ID.
 * * LookupRegionByName looks up a region with the specified name.
 * * LookupRegionByUnitCode looks up a region with the specified unit code.
 * @OnlyCurrentDoc
 */

var api_key = "YOUR_API_KEY"; // An unrestricted key is recommended for local use only (deployment is NOT recommended).

function format_url(place_id) {
  return place_id && 'https://www.google.com/maps/search/?api=1&query=%20&query_place_id=' + place_id;
}

function format_result(result) {
  let matches = result.matches || [];
  let firstMatch = result.matches[0] || {};

  let placeId = firstMatch.matchedPlaceId || '';
  let debugInfo = firstMatch.debugInfo || '';
  let candidates = firstMatch.candidatePlaceIds || [];

  return [[
    placeId || '(NULL)',
    format_url(placeId),
    debugInfo,
    candidates[0],
    format_url(candidates[0]),
    candidates[1],
    format_url(candidates[1]),
    candidates[2],
    format_url(candidates[2])
    ]];
}

/**
 * Searches for a place whose boundary contains the specified latitude/longitude coordinates.
 *
 * @param {number} latitude - The latitude where the place will be found (e.g., 37.531939).
 * @param {number} longitude - The longitude where the place will be found (e.g., -122.2994121).
 * @param {string} place_type - The place type of the place ("postal_code", "administrative_area_level_1", "administrative_area_level_2", "locality", "neighborhood", or "country").
 *
 * @return {string} The place_id of the place, or null if none was found.
 *
 * @customfunction
 */
function SearchRegionByLocation(
  latitude, longitude, place_type) {
  var data = {
    "search_values": [ {
      "latlng": { 'latitude': latitude, 'longitude': longitude }, // { latitude: 37.531939, longitude: -122.2994121 }
      "place_type": place_type,
      "region_code": null,
      "language_code": null,
    } ]
  };

  var options = {
    'method' : 'post',
    'contentType': 'application/json',
    'headers': {
        'X-Goog-Api-Key' : api_key
      },
      // Convert the JavaScript object to a JSON string.
      'payload' : JSON.stringify(data)
    };

  var response = UrlFetchApp.fetch(
    'https://regionlookup.googleapis.com/v1alpha:searchRegion',
    options);

  var resultText = response.getContentText();
  console.log(resultText);
  var result = JSON.parse(resultText);

  return format_result(result);
}

/**
 * Searches for a place whose boundary contains the specified address.
 *
 * @param {string} address - An address within the place boundaries (e.g., "1505 Salado Dr, Mountain View, CA").
 * @param {string} place_type - The geo type id of the place (e.g., "locality").
 * @param {string} [region_code='us'] - The region code of the place (e.g., "US").
 * @param {string} [language_code='en'] - The language code of the place's name. (e.g., "en").
 *
 * @return {string} The place_id of the place, or null if none was found.
 *
 * @customfunction
 */

function SearchRegionByAddress(
  address, place_type, region_code, language_code) {

  var data = {
    "search_values": {
        "address": address,
        "place_type" : place_type,
        "region_code": region_code || 'us',
        "language_code": language_code || 'en',
      }
  };

  var options = {
    'method' : 'post',
    'contentType': 'application/json',
    'headers': {
        'X-Goog-Api-Key' : api_key
      },
      // Convert the JavaScript object to a JSON string.
      'payload' : JSON.stringify(data)
    };

  var response = UrlFetchApp.fetch(
    'https://regionlookup.googleapis.com/v1alpha:searchRegion',
    options);

  var resultText = response.getContentText();
  console.log(resultText);
  var result = JSON.parse(resultText);

  return format_result(result);
}


/**
 * Searches for a place with the specified place ID.
 *
 * @param {string} place_id - The place ID to search for.
 * @param {string} place_type - The geo type id of the place (e.g., "locality").
 * @param {string} [region_code='us'] - The region code of the place (e.g., "US").
 * @param {string} [language_code='en'] - The language code of the place's name. (e.g., "en").
 *
 * @return {string} The place_id of the place, or null if none was found.
 *
 * @customfunction
 */
function SearchRegionByPlaceId(
  place_id, place_type, region_code, language_code) {

 var data = {
   "search_values": {
       "place_id": place_id,
       "place_type" : place_type,
       "region_code": region_code || 'us',
       "language_code": language_code || 'en',
     }
 };

 var options = {
   'method' : 'post',
   'contentType': 'application/json',
   'headers': {
       'X-Goog-Api-Key' : api_key
     },
     // Convert the JavaScript object to a JSON string.
     'payload' : JSON.stringify(data)
   };

 var response = UrlFetchApp.fetch(
   'https://regionlookup.googleapis.com/v1alpha:searchRegion',
   options);
  var resultText = response.getContentText();
 console.log(resultText);
 var result = JSON.parse(resultText);

 return format_result(result);
}

/**
 * Looks up a place with the specified name.
 *
 * @param {string} place_name - The name of the place (e.g., "Palo Alto").
 * @param {string} place_type - The geo type id of the place (e.g., "locality").
 * @param {string} [region_code='us'] - The region code of the place (e.g., "US").
 * @param {string} [language_code='en'] - The language code of the place's name. (e.g., "en").
 *
 * @return {string} The place_id of the place, or null if none was found.
 *
 * @customfunction
 */
function LookupRegionByName(
  place, place_type, region_code, language_code) {
  var data = {
    "identifiers": [ {
        "place": '' + place,
        "place_type": place_type,
        "region_code": region_code || 'us',
        "language_code": language_code || 'en',
      }
    ]
  };

  var options = {
    'method' : 'post',
    'contentType': 'application/json',
    'headers': {
        'X-Goog-Api-Key' : api_key
      },
      // Convert the JavaScript object to a JSON string.
      'payload' : JSON.stringify(data),
      //'muteHttpExceptions' : true,
    };

  var response = UrlFetchApp.fetch(
    'https://regionlookup.googleapis.com/v1alpha:lookupRegion',
    options);

  var resultText = response.getContentText();

  console.log(resultText);
  var result = JSON.parse(resultText);

  return format_result(result);
}

/**
 * Looks up a place with the specified unit code.
 *
 * @param {string} place_name - The name of the place (e.g., "Palo Alto").
 * @param {string} place_type - The geo type id of the place (e.g., "locality").
 * @param {string} [region_code='us'] - The region code of the place (e.g., "US").
 * @param {string} [language_code='en'] - The language code of the place's name. (e.g., "en").
 *
 * @return {string} The place_id of the place, or null if none was found.
 *
 * @customfunction
 */
function LookupRegionByUnitCode(
  unit_code, place_type, region_code, language_code) {
  var data = {
    "identifiers": [ {
        "unit_code": '' + unit_code,
        "place_type": place_type,
        "region_code": region_code || 'us',
        "language_code": language_code || 'en',
      }
    ]
  };

  var options = {
    'method' : 'post',
    'contentType': 'application/json',
    'headers': {
        'X-Goog-Api-Key' : api_key
      },
      // Convert the JavaScript object to a JSON string.
      'payload' : JSON.stringify(data),
      //'muteHttpExceptions' : true,
    };

  var response = UrlFetchApp.fetch(
    'https://regionlookup.googleapis.com/v1alpha:lookupRegion',
    options);

  var resultText = response.getContentText();

  console.log(resultText);
  var result = JSON.parse(resultText);

  return format_result(result);
}