Kalliope GoogleMaps neuron

Tuesday, February 21, 2017



If you follow me on twitter or github, you may have seen this new neuron coming, otherwise, let me introduce to you the Google Maps neuron :)

The goal as you can guess is to leverage the Google Maps API to get direction, distance or direction from an origin point to a destination (it doesn’t handle multi origin or destination yet).

What can you do ?

  • Ask for the address of a place (eg: “what is the address of the Eiffel tour”)
  • Ask for the distance / time between 2 places. (how far is “address A” from “Address B”)
    • Ask for the directions between 2 places, on top of distance/time. (how to go from “Address A” to “Address B”)

The synapse has a lot of options, so you can set your transportation mode (driving, walking, tube, …), the language, the units system, … Read the readme file as it contains more information (and more up to date).



Usual neuron installation:

      kalliope install --git-url https://github.com/bacardi55/kalliope-gmaps.git

Will install the neuron and the [google maps services python library)[https://googlemaps.github.io/google-maps-services-python/docs/2.4.5/)


Get the distance and time between 2 locations

      - name: "Gmaps-distance"
          - order: "distance between {{origin}} and {{destination}}"
          - gmaps:
              gmaps_api_key: "*********"
              mode: "driving"
              language: "en"
              units: "metric"
              traffic_model: "pessimistic"
                - origin
                - destination
              file_template: "templates/en_gmaps.j2"

Get the address of a place by its name

      - name: "Gmaps-place-address"
          - order: "get address of {{search}}"
          - gmaps:
              gmaps_api_key: "******************"
              language: "en"
              units: "metric"
                - search
              file_template: "templates/en_gmaps.j2"

You can find more up to date example on the github readme page


Here is a single template file to handle multiple use cases:

      {% raw %}
      {% if status == "KO" %}
          Sorry, but the search didn't work, Sir
      {% elif status == "OK" %}
          {% if search %}
              {% if origin %}
                  Distance between {{ origin }} and {{ search }} is {{ distance }}.
                  You need around {{time}} to go there {% if time_traffic %} You need to plan {{time_traffic}} with the current traffic
                  {% endif %}
              {% else %}
                  Address of {{search}} is {{destination}}
              {% endif %}
          {% elif destination %}
              Distance between {{oringi}} and {{destination}} is {{distance}}
              You need about {{ time }} to go there.
              {% if time_traffic %}
                Plan {{ time_traffic }} with current traffic.
              {% endif %}
          {% endif %}

          {% if directions %}
              To go to {{destination}}, you need
              {% for direction in directions %}
                  {{ direction }}
              {% endfor %}
          {% endif %}

      {% endif %}
      {% endraw %}

Of course, you can simplify by splitting it into several templates depending on the arguments you send.

What’s next

Obviously, the Gmaps API is so rich that the possibility for this neuron are limitless… But at least this first version let you do the basics…

What I have in mind for next updates:

  • multi origin / destination
  • Leverage more API from google maps

As always, ideas or pull requests are more than welcome!


If you find any issue or have any question about this article, feel free to reach out to me via email, mastodon, matrix or even IRC, see the About Me page for details.

See Also

Kalliope - a poorsman log analyser

Kalliope system status neuron