Guide to scraping reviews, popular times, photos, and more from Google Maps. Go beyond the limits of the official API and get unlimited results.
We don’t have to tell you how popular and ubiquitous using Google Maps is. Over its 17+ years of existence, Google Maps has transformed from a simple navigation tool to an app with a whole different level of promotion and opportunities for both individual users and big and small fish in business. The marketing influence of a simple map on the web has evolved to the point where every type of business, from e-commerce to pharmaceuticals, wants to have its name featured and ranked as high as possible in Google Maps ratings.
We’re going to show you how to use the Apify platform and a ready-made tool called Google Maps Scraper to extract data from Google Maps. This scraper, or crawler, will enable you to extract Google Maps data directly from the website, including reviews, images, opening hours, and popular times.
To learn how to achieve this, you can follow a step-by-step guide here or head over to our short YouTube tutorial 📹🔴▶️
How to use data extracted from Google Maps
These days, without a digital presence on Google Maps, a local business can count itself as pretty much invisible. That's why Google Maps is a colossal free data repository for businesses and organizations, which makes it a goldmine for extracting all kinds of invaluable data: from reviews, geolocation, and gas prices to contact data such as emails, phone numbers, addresses, and websites companies in the general vicinity. Here's just a couple of examples of how you can use this extracted data:
- ☎️ Generate leads. By scraping Google Maps, you can build your own database of emails, phone numbers, reviews, ratings, and businesses for a targeted place, industry, or country.
- 🧸 Monitor brand sentiment. You can analyze collected Google Maps reviews for positive/negative sentiment, quality of service, and specific phrases. Our Google Maps Reviews Scraper focuses specifically on Google Maps reviews, including reviewer name, reviewer ID & URL, reviewer number of reviews, and Is Local Guide parameter.
- 🧑💻 Create a potential customer base. Websites and contact information are scattered all over the internet, but trying to find them takes a lot of time. Google Maps is one place where many of your prospects are gathered together.
- 👁 Search, monitor, and analyze the competitors' offers. Scraping Google Maps reviews about competitors can be a useful review framework for your business and can give you the capability to provide your clients with a better marketing service.
- 🗺 Analyze geospatial data for scientific or engineering work. For instance, when working with satellite data and geolocation or analyzing territorial changes before and after an event, as has been thoroughly done in this Bellingcat study.
- ⛽️ Get gas prices. Google Maps also provides an opportunity to get recent gas prices from the area, along with details on field type, company supplier, and more. You can use Gas Stations Scraper to that end.
- 🕵️ Carry out a product hunt. Find businesses offering the product you're searching for and choose the best option out of the pool of results.
- 📀 Benefit from big data, even if you're a small player. Find opportunities for expanding your business or organization and developing a working market strategy.
There are countless ways to use that Google Maps data. However, in order to create a whole database, you may need to automate the process of data collection. One way to do that is via an official Google Maps API, but it won't be easy. You can always opt for a completely different Google Maps data extraction tool that can provide a full range of results, such as this free Google Maps Scraper.
Is it legal to scrape Google Maps?
Anybody can get information from publicly available websites - web scraping is just a faster and more efficient way to get the job done. It is therefore legal, as long as you respect the personal data and copyright laws. To learn more about the legality of web scraping, read our blog post on the subject.
Why not use the official Google Maps API?
Some massively popular websites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Amazon do provide APIs for their users to access part of their data. Google Maps is among these sites, it provides a Google Places API for its users. However, back in 2010, Google Maps API introduced considerable limitations on scraping their data. This decision has encouraged businesses and developers around the world to find other, easier ways to scrape the Google Maps website.
While the official Google Maps Places API can be an adequate option in some cases, no-code crawlers such as our Google Maps Scraper can provide:
- Unlimited results (Google Places API enforces rate limits and IP quotas).
- Popular place times histogram (not available in the official API).
- All place reviews (Google Places API enforces rate limits and IP quotas).
- All place photos (Google Places API enforces rate limits and IP quotas).
Now let's walk you through every step of the process of scraping Google Maps with our Google Maps Scraper.
How do I scrape data from Google Maps?
Step 1. Find Google Maps Scraper on Apify Store
First, go to the actor's page, and click the Try for free button. If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to log in or sign up via your email address, Google, or GitHub account. Once you are done, you will be redirected to Apify Console.
Step 2. Fill in the input fields
There are two ways to get your data. You can either enter your search terms in the first field, e.g., falafel in New York. Alternatively, you can open Google Maps in a separate window, search for New York -> falafel and, once Google Maps provides you with results, copy the URL and paste it into the second input field.
If you choose to use the first option, you can then move on to the Limit search area function (click the dropdown Define the search area by other parameters menu item) and restrict the geographic area you want to get results from, either by typing the address (country, city, postal code) or by inserting the latitude and longitude coordinates.
You can also adjust the zoom level of the area to scrape. If you zoom in, you will get more detailed results, including smaller businesses. Otherwise, you will obtain what Google Maps will consider being the most relevant places over a larger area.
Step 3. Start Google Maps Scraper
Once you are all set, click the Start button. Notice that your task will change its status to Running, so wait for the scraper's run to finish. It will be just a minute before you see the status switch to Succeeded.
Step 4. Get your results
Move to the Output tab to see the results of your scraping, and preview and download the dataset from the Storage tab, which contains your scraped data in many formats, including HTML table, JSON, CSV, Excel, XML, and RSS feed.
One slight caveat is that it's preferable to scrape such a huge website as Google Maps by using proxies, that way, it's faster and more efficient. Because of this, if you get serious about scraping Maps, it will eventually start costing you at least a little cash, but in the meantime, you get one month of Apify Proxy free as soon as you sign up at Apify. So hurry up and start your first month with our free Google Maps Scraper on Apify Store.
Finally, if this particular scraper seems too advanced for your needs, have no fear. There is also Easy Google Maps Scraper. We think you'll agree with us that it is...well, easy!