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FileMaker Radius Search

Imagine a sales rep visiting a customer in an adjacent state.  Since the rep is unfamiliar with the area, it would be great to have a list of nearby customers they could visit afterwards.  One of the best ways to accomplish this is to perform a radius search on the customers within your FileMaker solution, evaluating the distance between the rep and each customer’s address.  Let’s take a look at how to build one of these yourself using Google Maps API, some custom functions, and a couple calcs.

filemaker google mapsGeolocation

One of the most reliable APIs used to look up geocoordinates of an address is the Google Maps API.

This straightforward API call is an HTTP GET composed of a URL with two components – the base url and an URL encoded address.

https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/xml?address=8604%20Allisonville%20Road,Indianapolis,Indiana,46250,US

Once we make the call using the Insert from URL script step, Google returns our results in an XML format.  Using a custom function we can parse out the latitude and the longitude of the address we submitted and store that information inside FileMaker.

Watch on Youtube FileMaker Radius Search

Radius Search

Inside FileMaker, we perform the radius search by calculating the distance between the reference address and each address. The custom function used takes the latitudes and longitudes of the two pertinent addresses and returns the distance between them as miles. Once we have the distance between the two points, the actions taken can be whatever a user wants. Beyond radius searches, this process can be applied to many different scenarios, such as which employee should make a delivery based on their current location.

Conclusion

A radius search helps determine the relevant locations for any radius from a certain point of relevance. It is an effective tool and can extract important data that can add value and efficiency to your FileMaker solution.

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