Google makes a number of APIs available for free - I’ve previously written about the Google Tasks API and the Google+ API. I recently came across another interesting one - the Google Places API. As the name suggests, the Google Places API lets you retrieve information about shops, businesses, and other establishments by location or keyword. The information returned by the API is quite detailed - it includes place names, place types, coordinates, addresses, opening hours, all coupled with a unique place ID.

While experimenting with it, I thought of one useful application: finding the nearest ATM at any given location. It turned out to be reasonably easy to build, and things for even more interesting when I mashed up the ATM coordinates returned by the Google Places API with a map from the Google Maps API. The end result: a neat little mobile application that uses your current location to find a list of nearby ATMs, then shows you where they are on a map.


This mobile ATM finder is now live on IBM Bluemix. Try it for free from your smartphone, read about how I built it or download the code to see what makes it tick.