How to Use Place Chips in Google Sheets

Place Chips are a part of Google’s Smart Canvas initiative. These chips connect the data processing ability of Google Sheets to the breadth of geographic information available in Google Maps.

Place Chips are one of many types of Smart Chips available in Google Sheets.

Inserting Place Chips into Google Sheets

The easiest method for inserting Place Chips into Google Sheets is to start with the “@” symbol:┬áType “@” and then type the location’s name. A list of suggested places will appear after typing the “@” symbol. Select the place you want to insert.

Entering a place chip with the @ symbol
Inserting a Place Chip with the @ Sign

Appearance of Chips in your Spreadsheet

A Place chip has a pill-shaped grey highlighting containing the place’s location.

A place chip after insertion

When you hover your mouse over a Place Chip, a small panel appears with more information about the place, including a small map, the address, and a button for directions.

A Place Chip's hovercard showing a map and a button for directions
Place Chip Card

In addition to the hovercard, one data extraction is available.

Data Extraction

Furthermore, Place Chips are a conduit for more information from Google Maps. With data extraction techniques, you can pull out the URL that leads to the location in Google Maps.

A URL for Google Maps extracted from a Place Chip
Data Extraction

Even though only one data extraction is available, let’s not overlook the ability to get directions.

Directions from a Place Chip

Let’s take another look at that hovercard and notice the “View directions” button in the lower right. Clicking on this will open a sidebar pre-loaded with directions ending in your place chip’s location.

The sidebar will provide directions from a starting point to your location. All you need to do is enter a starting point.

This can be a fast way to get directions from one location to another without leaving Google Sheets. However, this technique only provides directions for one route at a time. If you have multiple start and end locations in your spreadsheet, using an add-on like TripTally is much faster.

Directions for Multiple Start and End Locations

Let’s start with a fresh set of addresses. In this case, we have several addresses.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is two-columns2-1024x333.png
Addresses Arranged in Two Columns

Looking up directions for each route individually and then copying and pasting the results back into Google Sheets is time-consuming. Let’s do it faster with an add-on.

You can use TripTally to find the time and distance for each drive. TripTally will look up the time and distance for all the rows while you stay in Google Sheets. It eliminates the need to switch programs and performs all route lookups simultaneously, saving you precious time.

Conclusion

As you can see, you can use Google’s Place Chips to unlock a higher level of productivity in Google Sheets by making Google Maps data accessible inside Sheets.

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