Google Map integration


#1

Hello

I am looking for feedback around how the Google Map integration works with Airtable. My goal is to type an address in Airtable, automatically populate the Google Map block in Airtable, then automatically populate a public Google Map embedded on a website.

Is this functionality possible?


#2

That’s what the block actually does:

Embedded blocks are in the way, they are in beta now :smile:


#3

I understand what the block does, but is there functionality to allow that to push to a map embedded on a website?


#4

There’s nothing like that built into Airtable, no.

@Elias_Gomez_Sainz mentioned that embedded blocks are coming in the future. When those arrive, will that suit your needs? (your map block embedded in a public facing web page, so that users can click map pins to view record data, just like your can in your block)… Or do you need it specifically to be a Google Maps instance?

If you need it to be Google Maps, you’d probably have to use the Airtable API from your webpage to populate your Google Map instance – in which case, the Map block is not involved or needed in the exchange at all.


#5

…or a Zapier- or Integromat-based integration. I can’t remember if I’ve done a full push-pin integration, but I’ve tossed together an couple of automated distance calculations integrating Airtable and Google’s Mapping API, once using Zapier and once Integromat, and IIRC they each came together in 15 - 20 minutes.


#6

@Jeremy_Oglesby and @w_vann_hall Thank you for the feedback. I can use the AirTable API. How would I go about doing that? Also looking into Zapier and I do not see hooking up to Google Maps as an option?


#7

I find I rarely use the predefined integrations – well, that’s not true: I use the Airtable interface (although I’m looking forward to giving the Openside customer connector a spin), but I often find I roll my own Zapier-to-[whatever] link on the other end using the Zapier Webhooks action app. That seems to be what I did when I built a Zap retrieving the distance between the city in the current record and the city in the previous record from Google’s Mapping API. In some cases I do so because a pre-rolled integration doesn’t exist; in others I do so because it gives me improved functionality; but I think I do so mainly because I want to understand what is going on behind the curtain. (Well, there’s a fourth probable reason: Because I start out by fiddling around to see what I can get to work, and suddenly the Zap is doing something pretty cool, so I graft it onto a base. I may be reinventing the wheel, at times – but as Zapier makes it so damn easy to invent, I don’t think I’m being that wasteful of cycles.)


#8

To answer the other part of your question (the part @W_Vann_Hall didn’t address), accessing the Airtable API is something that would be done in the source code of your website – wherever this Google Map is being displayed.

There is some chunk of code that is responsible for producing the page where you want to display this map, and that code needs to hit Airtable’s API to pull in the location data you want to display on a map, use that data to hit the Google Maps API and request that map display with pins at the locations it retrieved from Airtable, and finally return that populated map to the client.