Monday, March 6, 2017

PHP file_get_contents throws 400 Bad Request Error - Google Geocode API

Recently I was using Google Maps API to geocode address with PHP. There were thousands of addresses in CSV and I have to read it one by one and do geocode it and get lat long and other missing info of the address. So I was using file_get_contents function to fire HTTP request and get output like this.

$geocode = file_get_contents(''.urlencode($records[0]).'&key=API_KEY&sensor=false');
$output = json_decode($geocode);

It worked for few address but for some addresses it throws error.

ErrorException in Controller.php line 535:
file_get_contents(URL): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 400 Bad Request

That's because some of the addresses in the CSV were not properly formatted and there were some special characters in it as addresses were copied from web pages. But the problem was it's eventually breaking the execution of the script. So to fix it use PHP curl instead of file_get_contents. As it does not throw exception on bad request but it gives you response code and that you can check before you get output. So here is my code.

$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, ''.urlencode($records[0]).'&key=APIKEY&sensor=false');
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
$geocode = curl_exec($ch);

if(curl_getinfo($ch, CURLINFO_HTTP_CODE) === 200) {
        // convert response
        $output = json_decode($geocode);
if($output->status == 'OK'){


So as you can see on above code, we are using checking CURLINFO_HTTP_CODE, if it's 200 that means HTTP request is successfully executed or in case there is a bad request you can check it and skip accessing the output. So it won't throw an error.

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