Geocoding and Mapping Module for FileMaker Pro
By David Weiner
In the past few months we’ve had several projects that needed some basic mapping functions for FileMaker Go on iPad, and for one reason or another, never really made anything that was easily replicable. Realizing that we were more than likely going to need to do this again, we thought it was time to find a module of some sort that we could easily plug in as needed. Our aim was to have a simple way to take a group of addresses and create a map using the Google API in FileMaker, and that was all. Nothing fancy – just simple, elegant, and (ideally) ready-to-go out of the box.
Figuring (or perhaps hoping) there was somebody in the FileMaker community who had already done this and put it up online, I went looking for something we could borrow code and ideas from. I downloaded a variety of different demo files from forums here and there, but didn’t find anything satisfactory for our purposes. The best example I found was from a DevCon presentation in 2012 by Thomas Kunetz. Among the files included in the download was one that did exactly what we needed. It contained a few inefficiencies, it was tailored for a presentation, all the field and language settings were in French, and it took a while for us to reverse engineer a few parts of it, but it had some of the best and simplest code we could build from.
Starting with that, we built a new file from scratch, adapting the Google API code a bit and rewriting all the scripts for our purposes, while also using some features from FileMaker 13 (specifically, geocoding addresses on server instead of locally). We also built it with the intention of making it easy to plug into an existing FileMaker solution, distilling it down to only the essential components. For example, we wrote extra code specifically to avoid the need to add new summary or global fields.
Now we had a nice simple module that we could install in future projects, and since we recognized there was need for just such a module in the FileMaker community, we decided we’d release it under a Creative Commons license for free.
Enjoy! (And perhaps it goes without saying, but this file is free, and AppWorks makes no warranty, express or implied, for its performance or suitability for a given task.)