Recently, I needed to understand how the Google Maps & Places API works in order to integrate it into my project. I’ve spent quite a lot of time, but I’ve figured it out and now I want to share with you how to set up Google’s places autocomplete for your website.

Spoiler alert, the final result is going to look like this:


  1. Get Google API key
  2. Enable required API’s
  3. Add JavaScript to the page
  4. Using autocomplete options
  5. Extract data from a response

Get Google API Key

First, go to Google Cloud Console and create a new project. Then use a left menu to navigate to “APIs & Services” > “Credentials”.

Then click “Create credentials”:

Now let’s turn enable Maps JavaScript API and Places API in the “Library” section.

Enable required API’s

Use menu again to navigate to “APIs & Services” > “Library”.

Then search for “maps javascript api” and enable it.

I recommend doing the same for Places API as well.

Add JavaScript to the page

I hope you have your <input> all set up and ready to get Google’d.

To use Google Maps API add a <script> tag to a page:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Then add this code to link the <input> and Google autocomplete:

  const input = document.getElementById('inputId');
  const autocomplete = new google.maps.places.Autocomplete(input, {});

If everything was done right, you should have an autocompleted input now.

Using autocomplete options

Of course you’d like to customize your autocomplete and we can do that to a certain level.

Let’s make a little change:

const input = document.getElementById('inputId');
const options = {
  types: ['establishment'],

const autocomplete = new google.maps.places.Autocomplete(input, options);

This particular types option narrows search results from ‘everything possible’ down to ‘only establishments’, meaning now results will include names of shops, restaurants, schools and not a list of names of different cities.

Extract data from a response

Let’s say you want to get name and location from result separately and not as a single value which Google provides you with. Adding an event listener is going to makes things done.

google.maps.event.addListener(autocomplete, 'place_changed', () => {
  let place = autocomplete.getPlace();
  console.log(place['name'], place['formatted_location']);