The main functions in this package are drive_time (used for calculating distances between physical addresses) and geocode_url (used for estimating the lat/long coordinates of a physical address). Currently, Google provides scripts and functions written in other languages (Python, Ruby, etc.) to generate the cryptogric signatures needed to access the non-free Maps API, but does not offer a script for the R language (hence the motivation for this package's authorship).
Google's paid accounts have much larger quota limits than the "standard_api" and, for this reason, placement may be useful for indivuals needing to submit large batch jobs to the Google Maps API from directly within R. While the main benefit of this package is it's ability to generate properly signed URLs with the hmac sha1 algorithm, it also provides methods for accessing the standard API using a (free) Google API key (see this page).
To install this package from directly within R:
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