Choose fields to return

When you call the Place Details (New), Nearby Search (New), or Text Search (New) methods, you must specify which fields you want returned in the response. There is no default list of returned fields. If you omit this list, the methods return an error.

You specify the field list by creating a response field mask. You then pass the response field mask to either method by using the parameter $fields or fields, or by using the HTTP or gRPC header X-Goog-FieldMask.

Field masking is a good design practice to ensure that you don't request unnecessary data, which helps to avoid unnecessary processing time and billing charges.

Define a response field mask

The response field mask is a comma-separated list of paths, where each path specifies a unique field in the response message. The path starts from the top-level response message and uses a dot-separated path to the specified field.

Construct a field path as follows:

topLevelField[.secondLevelField][.thirdLevelField][...]

You can request all fields by using a field mask of *.

For more information about how to construct field masks, see the field_mask.proto {: .external}.

Determine what field masks to use

Here's how you can determine which field masks you want to use:

  1. Request all fields using a field mask of `*`.
  2. Look at the hierarchy of the fields in the response, and determine what fields you want.
  3. Build your field mask using the field hierarchy.

Define a response field mask for Nearby Search (New) and Text Search (New)

Nearby Search (New) and Text Search (New) return an array of Place objects in the places field of the response. For these APIs, places is the top-level field of the response.

For example, to see the complete response object from a Text Search (New):

curl -X POST -d '{
  "textQuery" : "Spicy Vegetarian Food in Sydney, Australia"
}' \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' -H 'X-Goog-Api-Key: API_KEY' \
-H 'X-Goog-FieldMask: *' \
'https://places.googleapis.com/v1/places:searchText'

The complete response object from a Text Search (New) call is in the form:

{
  "places": [
    {
      "name": "places/ChIJs5ydyTiuEmsR0fRSlU0C7k0",
      "id": "ChIJs5ydyTiuEmsR0fRSlU0C7k0",
      "types": [
        "vegetarian_restaurant",
        "vegan_restaurant",
        "meal_takeaway",
        "restaurant",
        "food",
        "point_of_interest",
        "establishment"
      ],
      "nationalPhoneNumber": "0433 479 794",
      "internationalPhoneNumber": "+61 433 479 794",
      "formattedAddress": "29 King St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia",
      "displayName": {
        "text": "Spiced @ Barangaroo",
        "languageCode": "en"
      },      ...
    },
  ...
  ]
}

Therefore, you specify a field mask for these APIs in the form:

places[.secondLevelField][.thirdLevelField][...]

If you want to return only the formattedAddress and displayName fields, set your field mask to:

places.formattedAddress,places.displayName

Specifying displayName includes both the text and language fields of displayName. If you only want the text field, set the field mask as:

places.formattedAddress,places.displayName.text

Define a response field mask for Place Details (New)

Place Details returns a single Place object in the form:

{
  "name": "places/ChIJkR8FdQNB0VQRm64T_lv1g1g",
  "id": "ChIJkR8FdQNB0VQRm64T_lv1g1g",
  "types": [
    "locality",
    "political"
  ],
  "formattedAddress": "Trinidad, CA 95570, USA",
  "displayName": {
    "text": "Trinidad",
    "languageCode": "en"
  }
  ...
}

Therefore, you specify a field mask for this API by specifying the fields of the Place object that you want to return:

curl -X GET -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
-H "X-Goog-Api-Key: API_KEY" \
-H "X-Goog-FieldMask: formattedAddress,displayName" \
https://places.googleapis.com/v1/places/ChIJj61dQgK6j4AR4GeTYWZsKWw

gRPC call

For gRPC, set a variable containing the response field mask. You can then pass that variable to the request.

const (
  fieldMask = "places.formattedAddress,places.displayName"
)

Field path considerations

Include only the fields that you require in the response. Returning just the fields that you need:

  • Decreases processing times, so your results are returned with a lower latency.
  • Ensures stable latency performance if the API adds more response fields in the future, and those new fields require extra computation time. If you select all fields, or if you select all fields at the top level, you might experience performance degradation when all new fields are automatically included in your response.
  • Results in a smaller response size, which translates into higher network throughput.
  • Ensures that you don't request unnecessary data, which helps to avoid unnecessary processing time and billed charges.