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peetsasaki Optionally use the center of the beacon's place to populate its latit…
…ude & longitude fields. (#48)

Optionally use the center of the beacon's place to populate its latitude & longitude fields.
Latest commit 582c0c9 Nov 2, 2017


Proximity Beacon API Scripts

This is not an official Google product


These scripts provide a wrapper around the REST service for the Proximity Beacon API (PBAPI), Google's service for registering and monitoring beacons and related data. They are not meant to be a complete solution for interacting with the service, rather as a helper for some of the common functions and a starting point for building something greater.

Other tools for the PBAPI that have similar function include:

Getting Started

This project is based around the Python Google API client for which you can find installation instructions here.

For all other dependencies, just run setup.py:

python setup.py install

Credentials and Authentication

The PBAPI is an authenticated service, and requires a Google developer project with an associated service client. At a high level, you can generate the required credentials via the following steps:

  1. Create (or select) a project in the developer console.
  2. Enable the Google Proximity Beacon API
  3. From credentials, create a new 'Service account key'
  4. Select the JSON key type
  5. Save the key in a safe place, but preferably on the same filesystem as these scripts

This key should be of the following format (note that this is a service account key, distinctly different from an OAuth client ID):

  "private_key_id": "123456789abcdefghijklmnop",
  "private_key": "-----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----\nENCRYPTEDKEY-----END PRIVATE KEY-----\n",
  "client_email": "1234567890-exampleserviceaccount1234567890@developer.gserviceaccount.com",
  "client_id": "1234567890-exampleserviceaccount1234567890.apps.googleusercontent.com",
  "type": "service_account"


The client also supports these credentials in p12 format, as well as temporary OAuth access tokens.


Once installed, the primary entry point is via the pb-cli command. Its arguments follow this pattern:

pb-cli {global opts} [command] {command-specific opts}

{global opts} are almost exclusively around authentication. See pb-cli --help for more details, pb-cli --list-commands for a list of which PBAPI methods are supported, or pb-cli [command] --help for usage details on a specific method.

List names of all beacons owned by a service account

$ pb-cli --service-account-creds ./creds.json list-beacons --names-only

List names of all beacons owned by a different project

This scenario requires that the service account client email has been given an appropriate PBAPI IAM role in my-beacon-project. A more common scenario is that your developer account (e.g., name@gmail.com) has been granted this IAM role (e.g., by joining a Google Group). In that case, substitute --service-account-creds <creds file> with --access-token <access token>, using an OAuth token tied to you developer account and a projec that has the PBAPI enabled.

$ pb-cli --service-account-creds ./creds.json list-beacons --names-only --project-id my-beacon-project

Filter beacon list by query

The PB CLI also supports filtering beacons by the given values. Status (--status) and property key/values (--property) are first-class options, but you can also give arbitrary query strings as specified by the beacons.list API documentation.

For example, the following will return only the active beacons:

$ pb-cli --service-account-creds ./creds.json list-beacons --status active

And the following command will return the beacons that have places set in the Seattle area:

$ pb-cli --service-account-creds ./creds.json list-beacons --query 'city:"Seattle"'

Register a beacon

$ pb-cli --service-account-creds ./creds.json register-beacon --beacon-json '{"advertisedId":{"type":"EDDYSTONE","id":"<id>"},"status":"ACTIVE"}'

Note that <id> is expected to be already encoded as expected by the API. If you have a 32-byte UUID-like string (e.g., 'abcdef1234567890abcdef1234567890'), you can generate the encoded ID with the following one-liner:

$ id='abcdef1234567890abcdef1234567890'; python -c "import binascii; import base64; print base64.b64encode(binascii.unhexlify('$id'))"

If the beacon is an iBeacon register-beacon will decode the ID to separate out the Proximity UUID and the major/minor IDs. For each of these, it will add properties to the beacon: ibeacon_uuid, ibeacon_major, and ibeacon_minor. To turn off this feature, specify the --no-ibeacon-props option.

Create an attachment

Since attachments in the PBAPI have only two user-settable fields, the create-attachment method accepts these straight on the command line. A couple of important notes for create-attachment:

  • Specifying --project-id <ID> dictates the owning project of the attachment, not of the beacon.
  • If you need to create an attachment on a beacon you don't own, ensure that your authenticated user has been grated an IAM role for attachment editing in the owning project. You may need to contact the project's owner for this.
  • Beacon names include an exclamation point, which is a special shell-expansion character. Be sure to properly quote or escape.
$ pb-cli --service-account-creds ./creds.json create-attachment \
    --beacon-name 'beacons/3!12345678901234567890123456789012' \
    --namespaced-type my-beacon-project/json \
    --data '{"key":"value"}'

Look up and set place IDs for beacons

The pbapi module includes a helper function for looking up a place ID and associating it with a beacon. If you already have a beacon name to place ID mapping, this function can also handle the updates for you. In order to do the lookup though, you must have a valid Google Maps API key.

The set-places method takes in the path to a CSV file that has a beacon_name field and a location. The location field can be one of place_id, latitude,longitude, or address. All entries in the file must use the same location type.

For example, if we knew the lat/long for all of our beacons, we might have an input CSV that looks like:


set-places will lookup the closest place to these coordinates (in this case, Google Seattle for all three), and update the beacon with that place ID:

$ pb-cli --service-account-creds ./creds.json set-places --source-csv ./beacon-places.csv --maps-api-key <API KEY>

Note that in particularly dense locations or in cases where multiple places share the same address (e.g., malls), this may not return the desired Place ID. It's recommended that you spot check these in the Beacon Dashboard.

Bulk Register Beacons

Using pb-cli, you can register a set of beacons using a single command. For example:

$ pb-cli --service-account-creds ./creds.json bulk-register --source-csv ./beacons.csv

The input CSV file must at minimum have an ID field (i.e., the broadcast ID of the beacon), but can contain any number of fields. The primary Beacon Resource fields are expected to be in snake_case and are individually set if available. Any remaining, unknown fields (e.g., custom fields like store_name) are included as keys in the beacon's properties map.

For example, suppose beacons.csv has the following contents:

12345678901234567890123456789012,47.6489529,-122.3508952,1,Entry way,-40 dBm
abcdefabcdefabcdefabcdefabcdefab,47.6487529,-122.3509592,2,Second floor cafe,-20 dBm
abcdef1234567890abcdef1234567890,47.649585,-122.350420,3,Desk,-60 dBm

The first beacon would be created as:

    'beaconName': 'beacons/3!12345678901234567890123456789012',
    'advertisedId': {
        'id': 'EjRWeJASNFZ4kBI0VniQEg==',
        'type': 'EDDYSTONE'
    'status': 'ACTIVE',
    'expectedStability': 'STABLE',
    'latLng': {
        'latitude': 47.6489529,
        'longitude': -122.3508952
    'indoorLevel': {
        'name': '1'
    'description': 'Entry way',
    'properties': {
        'tx_power': '-40 dBm'

The bulk-register command can also register iBeacons. It will perform the proper encoding of the UUID, Major, and Minor IDs and set these as additional properties. For example, given the following input CSV:


bulk-register would create the following beacon:

    'beaconName': 'beacons/1!12345678901234567890123456789012006f00de'
    'advertisedId': {
        'type': 'IBEACON',
        'id': 'EjRWeJASNFZ4kBI0VniQEgBvAN4='
    'status': 'ACTIVE',
    'expectedStability': 'STABLE',
    'properties': {
        'ibeacon_major': '111',
        'ibeacon_uuid': '12345678901234567890123456789012',
        'ibeacon_minor': '222'

Finally, bulk-register can also make use of the same facilities as the set-places command. That is, by supplying --set-places and a Google Maps API key as part of the bulk-register command, an address or lat/long will be parsed out of the input CSV and used to look up a plausible Google Maps Place ID.

See pb-cli bulk-register --help for additional information.


Copyright 2016 Google, Inc.

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