Holiday Project: Plot Google Calendar Events on Google Map

[UPDATE: 2009/08/08]: I’ve now gotten stuck on two separate projects, trying to find a bridge between Python code that generates data, and javascript code that is apparently required in order to present it. I haven’t found such a bridge. For one project, I was able to do what I needed with ReportLab (there was no webification requirement). For this project, it’s pretty useless if it’s not on the web, imho. So until I either break down and decide to deal with the monstrosity that *is* javascript, or someone else takes this code and runs with it, here it sits. There is only a slight chance I’ll decide Javascript is something I want to deal with. I’ve written some code in javascript. I’ve never enjoyed it, and I’m not very good at it.

While putting together the US Technical Conferences calendar over the past week or two, I noticed that the location of probably 80% of them (I’m guessing – it’s probably higher) is somewhere in California. I’ve always noticed that there is this trend to hold technical conferences in California, because there’s an enormous concentration of technology workers there. But c’mon! How about an OSCON East or something?

Anyway, I have more going on this holiday season than usual, but I always try to spend some of the downtime doing something interesting, and the Google Maps API is probably one of the few Google APIs I’ve never used. What better way to expose the inequity in conference locales than to plot all of my Tech Conference calendar events on a Google Map? Oh, and it’d be useful for people to be able to visually see where conferences are, and maybe color-code the markers according to Q1 2009, Q2 2009, etc.

I’ll be doing this in Python, by the way, though I’m pretty sure I’ve decided to go ahead and use javascript for the Maps portion. There *is* a Python utility that attempts to relieve you of the hellhound that is javascript, but it’s not documented at all that I’ve seen, and wrappers that attempt to generate javascript tend to be flaky (including one I wrote myself – I’m not picking here). I’m also using geopy for the geocoding, because it provides more flexibility than hard-coding calls against the Google Maps API.

By the way, this isn’t like some new fantastic idea I had. Someone else came up with a solution that works quite some time ago, but it involved several steps including Yahoo pipes and stuff. I really just wanted a script that, called with a parameter or two, would dump the appropriate .html file into a directory, or better, would just be called directly from the browser and take input (baby steps). Later, there are aspirations of plugging it into Django, an area where Google Maps has already seen some integration work, and another victim of my recent exploration/experimentation.

So, I already have some prototype code that might be useful for others who are maybe just starting out with the Calendar API. This bit of code will create an authenticated CalendarService object and dump the title and location of events on a calendar of your choosing. The assumption here is that the location is in some form that is parseable by whatever geocoding service you decide to use. For me (for now), I’m just using city and state locations – not addresses. Here goes:

#!/usr/bin/env python

  from xml.etree import ElementTree # for Python 2.5 users
except ImportError:
  from elementtree import ElementTree
import gdata.calendar.service
import gdata.service
import atom.service
import gdata.calendar
import getpass
import atom
import getopt
import sys
import string
import time
import geopy

calendar_service = gdata.calendar.service.CalendarService() = ''
calendar_service.password = getpass.getpass()
cal_id = 'id_from_calendar_settings_page_or_email_for_your_default_cal'
feed = calendar_service.GetCalendarEventFeed('/calendar/feeds/'+cal_id+'/private/full')
geo = geopy.geocoders.Google('your_google_api_key')

print feed.title.text  # the name of the calendar we're sucking feeds out of.
for event in feed.entry:
  print event.title.text, event.where[0].value_string # The event name, and location.
  (lat,lon) = geo.geocode(event.where[0].value_string)
  print lat,lon

It’s a start. Next I need to figure out the steps between this stage and making the actual cool stuff happen. Hopefully I’ll be back with an update right around the new year.

  • Cameron

    An update would be lovely!

  • m0j0