Get an API Key

To use the Places API you must have an API key. The API key is a unique identifier that is used to authenticate requests associated with your project for usage and billing purposes.

Get the API key

You must have at least one API key associated with your project.

To get an API key:

  1. Visit the Google Cloud Platform Console.
  2. Click the project drop-down and select or create the project for which you want to add an API key.
  3. Click the menu button and select APIs & Services > Credentials.
  4. On the Credentials page, click Create credentials > API key.
    The API key created dialog displays your newly created API key.
  5. Click Close.
    The new API key is listed on the Credentials page under API keys.
    (Remember to restrict the API key before using it in production.)

Add the API key to your request

You must include an API key with every Places API request. In the following example, replace YOUR_API_KEY with your API key.

https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/place/nearbysearch/json
  ?location=-33.8670522,151.1957362
  &radius=500
  &types=food
  &name=harbour
  &key=YOUR_API_KEY

Restrict the API key

We strongly recommend that you restrict your API key. Restrictions provide added security and help ensure only authorized requests are made with your API key. There are two restrictions. You should set both:

  • Application restriction: Limits usage of the API key to either websites (HTTP referrers), web servers (IP addresses), or mobile apps (Android apps or iOS apps). You can select only one restriction from this category, based on the platform of the API or SDK (see GMP APIs by Platform).

    Note: If you need to call web, web service, and/or mobile APIs from the same (client-side) app, create and restrict multiple keys.

  • API restriction: Limits usage of the API key to one or more APIs or SDKs. Requests to an API or SDK associated with the API key will be processed. Requests to an API or SDK not associated with the API key will fail. (The API or SDK must be enabled and must support the application restriction.)

To restrict an API key:

  1. Go to the Google Cloud Platform Console.
  2. Click the project drop-down and select the project that contains the API key you want to secure.
  3. Click the menu button and select APIs & Services > Credentials.
  4. On the Credentials page, click the name of the API key that you want to secure.
  5. On the Restrict and rename API key page, set the restrictions:
    • Application restrictions
      • Select IP addresses (web servers, cron jobs, etc.).
      • Add the server IP addresses.
        You may also enter a subnet using CIDR notation (e.g. 192.168.0.0/22).
    • API restrictions
      • Select Restrict key.
      • Click Select APIs and select Places API.
        (If the Places API is not listed, you need to enable it.)
    • Click SAVE.

Premium Plan customers

When using the Places API with a Google Maps Platform Premium Plan license, you must authenticate requests using an API key.

By using an API key to authenticate requests, you can:

Get more information on reports available to Premium Plan customers.

To get an API key:

  1. Go to the Google Cloud Platform Console.
  2. Click the project drop-down and select the project created for you when you purchased the Premium Plan. The project name starts with Google Maps APIs for Business or Google Maps for Work or Google Maps.
  3. Click the menu button and select APIs & Services > Credentials.
  4. On the Credentials page, click Create credentials > API key.
    The API key created dialog displays your newly created API key.
  5. Click Close.
    The new API key is listed on the Credentials page under API keys.
    (To continue, see Add the API key to your request and Restrict the API key.)

Troubleshooting authentication issues

If your request is malformed or supplies an invalid signature, the Places API returns an HTTP 403 (Forbidden) error.

To troubleshoot individual URLs, you can use the URL Signing Debugger. It allows you to quickly validate a URL and signature generated by your application.

Alternatively, Premium Plan customers can troubleshoot individual URLs by logging in to the Google Cloud Support Portal and selecting Resources > Google Maps Platform Premium Plan online tools > URL Signing Debugger for Web Service and Image APIs.