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Geocoding - converting address to latitude / Longitude with PHP via Google

We have a 'geocoding' example here, and indeed I was using it earlier today. The idea is that someone enters part of an address on your web site, and you contact Google to look up the latitude and longitude so that you can put it on a map, or calculate a distance from somewhere else. It's very need, but it needs a bit more that a basic knowledge of PHP to debug - you've got multiple servers, security keys and configuration options floating around.

So it was a co-incidence, but no surprise, to find the following in my mail box later on:



Dear Sir,

While I was searching for a script that allows simple geocoding with google api I found this article in your website:

http://www.wellho.net/resources/ex.php4?item=h999/loclook.php

When I tried to test it in my localhost it showed me this error:

Warning: file(http://maps.google.com/maps/geo?q=paris &output=csv&key=key) [function.file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found in C:\AppServ\www\goo\t.php on line 12

I don't really know where the problem is; I would appreciate help.



I've never met the poster ... but the question is well formed (I have tidied up the English for publication here), specific and polite and I want to help ... and to help others who come across the same thing. So - here's my answer:


The problem lies in the attempt to contact Google for the information - in the source code line within the error message you have quoted.

This line can fail for a number of reasons:

a) Your server / PHP may be configured so that it does not allow outgoing http requests
b) Your server may not be correctly resolving the DNS / name of maps.google.com
c) There may be an error in the URL that you have called up at Google, so that you are pointing to a page that does not exist there
d) You may have an extra space or other spurious character in the part of the URL after the ?
e) You may not have the correct / a recognised Google key.

The error message tells me that your problem is (c), but the piece of code in the error message looks correct. The best advise I can offer is to try the lookup on Google directly rather than via your PHP script (make sure that works first). Then try contacting another server from yours - not the Google one with the extra complexity of the key, but something else. Then try bringing the code together. This series of tests will narrow down the problem - tell you if it is one of the five reasons I have suggested or something else - which in turn will let you solve the problem.

Graham
(written 2009-08-14, updated 2009-08-15)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
H309 - PHP - Maps, Graphics and Geographics
  [4178] Where are you? How to write a geosensitive application - (2013-09-18)
  [3817] Fpdf - generating .pdf documents easily from your PHP program - (2012-07-24)
  [3734] QR codes with marketing logos embedded - (2012-05-16)
  [3584] QR codes - graphics images that provide quick phone links - (2012-01-18)
  [3536] UK Mapping Data - and more to come - under government Open Data measures - (2011-12-03)
  [3447] Needle in a haystack - finding the web server overload - (2011-09-18)
  [3211] Computer Graphics in PHP - World (incoming data) to Pixel (screen) conversion - (2011-03-24)
  [3197] Finding and diverting image requests from rogue domains - (2011-03-08)
  [3133] An image from a website that occasionally comes out as hyroglyphics - (2011-01-14)
  [3027] Server logs - drawing a graph of gathered data - (2010-11-03)
  [2939] Protecting your images from use out of context - (2010-08-29)
  [2729] Uploading a document or image to its own URL via a browser - (2010-04-18)
  [2675] Redirecting to your main domain for correct security keys - (2010-03-13)
  [2583] Reducing image size on digital photos - PHP - (2010-01-17)
  [2390] Dynamic / changing images on your web page - (2009-09-01)
  [2343] World Flags in your PHP pages - (2009-08-10)
  [1956] Images for Christmas - (2008-12-21)
  [1923] Making it all worthwhile - (2008-12-04)
  [1756] Ever had One of THOSE mornings? - (2008-08-16)
  [1752] Dynamic maps / geographics in PHP - (2008-08-13)
  [1734] All around the world? - (2008-08-03)
  [1724] addslashes v mysql_real_escape_string in PHP - (2008-07-27)
  [1628] Gant charts - drawing them with a PHP script - (2008-05-03)
  [1391] Ordnance Survey Grid Reference to Latitude / Longitude - (2007-10-14)
  [1390] Converting from postal address to latitude / longitude - (2007-10-13)
  [1389] Controlling and labelling Google maps via PHP - (2007-10-13)
  [1194] Drawing hands on a clock face - PHP - (2007-05-19)
  [1104] Drawing dynamic graphs in PHP - (2007-03-09)
  [937] Display an image from a MySQL database in a web page via PHP - (2006-11-22)
  [665] PHP Image viewing application - (2006-04-01)
  [563] Merging pictures using PHP and GD - (2006-01-13)
  [320] Ordnance Survey - using a 'Get a map' - (2005-05-22)


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Thornham Farm Shop, Seend Cleeve, nr Melksham
Geocoding - converting address to latitude / Longitude with PHP via Google
Error Handling in Lua with assert and pcall
A fresh example - objects the Lua way
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Passing multiple results back from a function - Lua, Python, etc
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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