The purpose of the Places API is to search for geographical features (toponyms) and businesses.
The search can be performed in two directions. Forward search means using a search query to get the coordinates of places, and reverse search means using coordinates to find places.
The Places API interacts with other services over HTTPS. Search results are returned in JSON or JSONP format. To access the service, you need a key.
This document covers the request parameters, service response, and usage examples.