With today’s launch, Place IDs will be returned in all responses that include the existing ID and Reference fields, and they can also be used instead of References to uniquely identify a place in Place Details requests. We believe Place IDs have clear functional and simplicity benefits over the previous ID and Reference system, and we’ll be removing IDs and Reference support from the Places API a year from now, on June 24th, 2015.
This additional data will be automatically associated and returned with the new place, so end-users can benefit from additional useful place information without forcing developers to store extra data. The new fields also help streamline Google’s internal place moderation process, which augments Google’s places repository with places added via the Places API, leading to more up-to-date, comprehensive, and accurate local data for everyone.
A great example of how to integrate the Add-a-Place feature is Zodio, a popular social location-based app from Thailand. They use the Places API’s Add-a-Place feature in their check-in experience so their users can always share where they are, even if the place is currently missing from the Places API.
In the past few years we’ve seen GeoJSON explode as a method to share geographic data and developers are using GeoJSON to create amazing visualizations. As a consequence, however, we’re seeing less interest in non-customizable layers directly provided by API providers.
We’d also like to remind developers that the Flash Maps API’s deprecation period ends on September 2, 2014. The Flash Maps API will shut down on that date, so if you’re still using the API, it’s time to start planning your migration.
If you have any questions about these announcements, our friendly developer relations team is always happy to help. Please tag questions with ‘google-maps-api-3’ on StackOverflow and we’ll respond shortly.