Important changes to Google mapping and geocoding services

CiviCRM uses mapping and geocoding service providers such as Google to display event location maps and geocode addresses to enable proximity searches.

The use of API keys was optional until changes (as detailed HERE) recently went into effect in the Google Maps Platform.

NOTE: Continued keyless usage will result in a degraded experience or an error.

Those CiviCRM users who wish to continue using Google mapping and geocoding services will need to create a Google Maps Platform account. If you already have an account, the easiest way to generate API keys is to follow the prompts from the Getting Started page. Below are step-by-step instructions to guide you through this process. As always, Cividesk clients requiring additional assistance in this process can submit a support ticket by emailing

Charitable nonprofit organizations: You might also wish to verify eligibility for the Google for Nonprofits program HERE

Step 1: Enable Google Maps Platform

  1. Visit the Getting Started page where you will be prompted to select the desired products:
    1. To display maps to event locations, select Maps
    2. To allow your constituents to search by proximity and to automatically generate coordinates for addresses entered into Civi, select Places
  2. After clicking Continue, you will be prompted to select or create a "Project" - name the project something recognizable such as "CiviCRM-Maps-API-Key", then click Next
  3. You will then be prompted to log in or to create an account followed by instructions to set up your billing information
  4. Once you have completed these steps, the requisite API(s) are activated automatically and a generic, unrestricted API key is generated
  5. To prevent unauthorized use and quota theft, it is recommended to restrict your API key(s) by HTTP (for Maps) or IP Address (for Places) as explained HERE
  6. Be sure to use CTRL + C to copy the API key(s) before moving on to the next step

Step 2: Configure CiviCRM Mapping and Geocoding Services

  1. In CiviCRM, navigate to Administer > System Settings > Mapping and Geocoding
  2. Set the Mapping and Geocoding providers to "Google"
  3. Paste your API Key(s) into the designated field(s)
  4. Click the Save button (to view a larger version of the screenshot below, right-click on the image and open the link in a new tab)

Step 3: Confirm Activation

Taking into account any expected delay time as indicated by Google when generating a new API Key:

  1. Navigate to any event info page on which you have selected to include a map to confirm that it is displayed properly
  2. If you opted to enable geocoding by selecting Places in step 1.1 above, run a proximity search from Search > Custom Searches (or from a ​​profile​*) to confirm that it is functioning properly
    *Cividesk clients: visit the Knowledgebase and search for the FAQ tiled "How can I offer my constituents the ability to search for others by proximity?" for detailed instructions on how to configure a profile for use in proximity searches.