The "Google Maps Restaurant Local Search" Joomla 1.5 extension uses the Google Maps API (v2) and Google Local Search API's to make searching for a good restaurant close to you (or anywhere in the world) very easy and fairly intuitive. You can view it in action at here. This component is not publicly available yet, but we will slightly rewrite it to make it more generic so it can be used by any Joomla 1.5 web master to integrate Google Maps, Google Local Search, and their own content and categories and release it when we have time.


The version of it running on the Bistro Blurb website is not written as an extension, but the same code was used to create the extension. We have also completed the Joomla 1.6 version of this extension, but don't have a public website to run it on yet..... still waiting for the Joomla 1.6 BETA version to be released.


Our "Google Maps Restaurant Local Search" component works by using the Google Maps API. We hide the Google Local Search box in favour of our own search setup, and feed the Google Local Search API using a combination of JavaScript and AJAX. The search is fed to our server, which makes up to 4 calls to the Google Local Search API, consolidates the results, adds a few fields from our own database, and passes it back to the web browser where our JavaScript code inserts it into the web page. This approach makes the page very responsive to the user, as they don't have to wait for page reloads when trying different searches to find the restaurant they want. You can also view our "Business Reviews" extension if you use this page, and click in the View Details link for one of the restaurants.