Google Cloud | Maps Local Context Aware

Your Questions About Local Context Answered

Editor’s note: We recently hosted a webinar to provide an overview of Local Context, a new turnkey solution that adds Google’s rich, local information to your desktop or mobile web app. We received a variety of questions from the audience and ran out of time before we could answer them all. We sat down with Product Manager, Ivan Passos, to answer the most common questions we received.  

Do I have the ability to exclude certain specific locations? For example, can I exclude one of my competitors or something less desirable like an adult entertainment establishment?

Local Context allows you to filter out specific place types like ATMs or grocery stores, but not specific places within those types like Joe’s Supermarket.There’s a variety of place types to choose from, and you can select up to 10 place types per Local Context load to be used in its search for POIs. 

Can I customize Local Context and let a user select only what they need?

Yes, you can. Not only can you configure it to only load the place types your users see as valuable, you can also enable or disable features to better fit your requirements and even use recently launched functionality to set up Local Context to behave based on your users’ inputs. You can find more information about recent updates to Local Context and how you can use them to tailor your experience to the user’s choice in this blog post.

How does zooming and panning work with Local Context? Does it result in the Local Context  layer being reloaded?

By default, the Local Context layer doesn’t reload its content when the user zooms or pans the map. That said, we recently added new functionality that lets you do exactly that, either automatically or based on the user’s input. You can learn more about it here

What are the bounds of a Local Context layer? Is the Local Context layer based on a geography or bounding box?

You have the ability to define that through configuration at load time. If you don’t configure anything, Local Context will use the Map’s viewport as the location data boundary. You can also provide your own location data boundary as a rectangle, in which case Local Context will use that instead when searching for relevant places.

How can I integrate it in a react JS project? 

Unfortunately there are no React components that support Local Context yet. That said, you can use vanilla JS to customize the load script URL and use the Local Context classes, which should allow you to mix it into your React project.

Does Local Context also support other modes of travel, like public transport, car, bike, etc.?

Today, Local Context only supports walking directions. That said, support for other travel modes such as driving and possibly public transportation is currently something we’re exploring. Stay tuned for updates as to when this might become available.

Can I configure and style the Local Context Map as I can with a regular Dynamic Map?

Yes. While the Local Context Map comes with a default style and configuration, it supports the same map options as the standard Dynamic Map. This means that you can configure and style the Local Context Map as you can with a regular Dynamic Map. You can see more details on how to do that here.  You can also style a Local Context map with cloud-based styling. The information on how to do that is here.

Is Local Context available for Central America, Guatemala? 

We received many questions about availability around the world and are pleased to report that thanks to Google Maps Platform global places coverage from more than 15 years of mapping the world, Local Context is available worldwide and it can surface local information worldwide as well. Our solutions and products are powered with information about more than 200M places and get more than 25 million data refreshes per day.

Watch the webinar on-demand or learn  more about  Google Maps Platform on our website.

By Ivan Passos. Source: Google Cloud Blog.

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