Monday June 7, 2021 By David Quintanilla
How To Build A Geocoding App In Vue.js Using Mapbox — Smashing Magazine

About The Creator

Prince Chukwudire is a Frontend Engineer who’s eager on the pixel-perfect implementation of user-centric UI designs and writing unit checks to enhance code …
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On this information, we’ll take a basic take a look at the ideas of ahead geocoding and reverse geocoding. We’ll construct a mini-app that applies these ideas to show particular places, utilizing Mapbox and Vue.js 2.6.11 to attain this.

Pinpoint accuracy and modularity are among the many perks that make geocodes the proper technique of discovering a selected location.

On this information, we’ll construct a simple geocoding app from scratch, utilizing Vue.js and Mapbox. We’ll cowl the method from constructing the front-end scaffolding as much as constructing a geocoder to deal with ahead geocoding and reverse geocoding. To get probably the most out of this information, you’ll want a primary understanding of JavaScript and Vue.js and find out how to make API calls.

What Is Geocoding?

Geocoding is the transformation of text-based places to geographic coordinates (sometimes, longitude and latitude) that point out a location on the planet.

Geocoding is of two sorts: ahead and reverse. Ahead geocoding converts location texts to geographic coordinates, whereas reverse geocoding converts coordinates to location texts.

In different phrases, reverse geocoding turns 40.714224, -73.961452 into “277 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn”, and ahead geocoding does the alternative, turning “277 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn” into 40.714224, -73.961452.

To present extra perception, we are going to construct a mini net app that makes use of an interactive net map with customized markers to show location coordinates, which we are going to subsequently decode to location texts.

Our app may have the next primary capabilities:

  • give the consumer entry to an interactive map show with a marker;
  • permit the consumer to maneuver the marker at will, whereas displaying coordinates;
  • return a text-based location or location coordinates upon request by the consumer.

Set Up Venture Utilizing Vue CLI

We’ll make use of the boilerplate found in this repository. It accommodates a brand new challenge with the Vue CLI and yarn as a package deal supervisor. You’ll have to clone the repository. Make sure that you’re working from the geocoder/boilerplate department.

Set Up File Construction of Software

Subsequent, we might want to arrange our challenge’s file construction. Rename the Helloworld.vue file within the part’s folder to Index.vue, and go away it clean for now. Go forward and replica the next into the App.vue file:

  <div id="app">
    <!--Navbar Right here -->
        <div class="header">
    <!--Index Web page Right here -->
    <index />
import index from "./parts/index.vue";
export default {
  title: "App",
  parts: {

Right here, we’ve imported after which registered the not too long ago renamed part regionally. We’ve additionally added a navigation bar to elevate our app’s aesthetics.

We want an .env file to load the setting variables. Go forward and add one within the root of your challenge folder.

Set up Required Packages and Libraries

To kickstart the event course of, we might want to set up the required libraries. Right here’s a listing of those we’ll be utilizing for this challenge:

  1. Mapbox GL JS
    This JavaScript library makes use of WebGL to render interactive maps from vector tiles and Mapbox.
  2. Mapbox-gl-geocoder
    This geocoder management for Mapbox GL will assist with our ahead geocoding.
  3. Dotenv
    We gained’t have to put in this as a result of it comes preinstalled with the Vue CLI. It helps us to load setting variables from an .env file into process.env. This manner, we will hold our configurations separate from our code.
  4. Axios
    This library will assist us make HTTP requests.

Set up the packages in your CLI in keeping with your most well-liked package deal supervisor. For those who’re utilizing Yarn, run the command under:

cd geocoder && yarn add mapbox-gl @mapbox/mapbox-gl-geocoder axios

For those who’re utilizing npm, run this:

cd geocoder && npm i mapbox-gl @mapbox/mapbox-gl-geocoder axios --save

We first needed to enter the geocoder folder earlier than operating the set up command.

Scaffolding the Entrance Finish With Vue.js

Let’s go forward and create a structure for our app. We’ll want a component to accommodate our map, a area to show the coordinates whereas listening to the marker’s motion on the map, and one thing to show the placement after we name the reverse geocoding API. We will home all of this inside a card part.

Copy the next into your Index.vue file:

  <div class="major">
    <div class="flex">
      <!-- Map Show right here -->
      <div class="map-holder">
        <div id="map"></div>
      <!-- Coordinates Show right here -->
      <div class="dislpay-arena">
        <div class="coordinates-header">
          <h3>Present Coordinates</h3>
        <div class="coordinates-header">
          <h3>Present Location</h3>
          <div class="form-group">
              kind="textual content"
            <button kind="button" class="copy-btn">Copy</button>
          <button kind="button" class="location-btn">Get Location</button>

To see what we at present have, begin your growth server. For Yarn:

yarn serve

Or for npm:

npm run serve

Our app ought to appear to be this now:

Scaffold preview
Geocoding app scaffold preview. (Large preview)

The clean spot to the left seems off. It ought to home our map show. Let’s add that.

Interactive Map Show With Mapbox

The very first thing we have to do is achieve entry to the Mapbox GL and Geocoder libraries. We’ll begin by importing the Mapbox GL and Geocoder libraries within the Index.vue file.

import axios from "axios";
import mapboxgl from "mapbox-gl";
import MapboxGeocoder from "@mapbox/mapbox-gl-geocoder";
import "@mapbox/mapbox-gl-geocoder/dist/mapbox-gl-geocoder.css";

Mapbox requires a singular access token to compute map vector tiles. Get yours, and add it as an environmental variable in your .env file.


We additionally have to outline properties that can assist with placing our map tiles collectively in our knowledge occasion. Add the next under the spot the place we imported the libraries:

export default {
  knowledge() {
    return {
      loading: false,
      location: "",
      access_token: course of.env.VUE_APP_MAP_ACCESS_TOKEN,
      middle: [0, 0],
      map: {},
  • The location property will likely be modeled to the enter that now we have in our scaffolding. We’ll use this to deal with reverse geocoding (i.e. show a location from the coordinates).
  • The middle property homes our coordinates (longitude and latitude). That is important to placing our map tiles collectively, as we are going to see shortly.
  • The access_token property refers to our environmental variable, which we added earlier.
  • The map property serves as a constructor for our map part.

Let’s proceed to create a way that plots our interactive map with our ahead geocoder embedded in it. This methodology is our base perform, serving as an middleman between our part and Mapbox GL; we are going to name this methodology createMap. Add this under the information object:

mounted() {

strategies: {
  async createMap() {
    strive {
      mapboxgl.accessToken = this.access_token;
      this.map = new mapboxgl.Map({
        container: "map",
        type: "mapbox://kinds/mapbox/streets-v11",
        middle: this.middle,
        zoom: 11,

    } catch (err) {
      console.log("map error", err);

To create our map, we’ve specified a container that homes the map, a type property for our map’s show format, and a middle property to accommodate our coordinates. The middle property is an array kind and holds the longitude and latitude.

Mapbox GL JS initializes our map based mostly on these parameters on the web page and returns a Map object to us. The Map object refers back to the map on our web page, whereas exposing strategies and properties that allow us to work together with the map. We’ve saved this returned object in our knowledge occasion, this.map.

Ahead Geocoding With Mapbox Geocoder

Now, we are going to add the geocoder and customized marker. The geocoder handles ahead geocoding by reworking text-based places to coordinates. This may seem within the type of a search enter field appended to our map.

Add the next under the this.map initialization that now we have above:

let geocoder =  new MapboxGeocoder({
    accessToken: this.access_token,
    mapboxgl: mapboxgl,
    marker: false,


geocoder.on("consequence", (e) => {
  const marker = new mapboxgl.Marker({
    draggable: true,
    colour: "#D80739",
  this.middle = e.consequence.middle;
  marker.on("dragend", (e) => {
    this.middle = Object.values(e.goal.getLngLat());

Right here, we’ve first created a brand new occasion of a geocoder utilizing the `MapboxGeocoder` constructor. This initializes a geocoder based mostly on the parameters supplied and returns an object, uncovered to strategies and occasions. The `accessToken` property refers to our Mapbox entry token, and `mapboxgl` refers back to the [map library](https://docs.mapbox.com/#maps) at present used.
Core to our app is the customized marker; the geocoder comes with one by default. This, nevertheless, wouldn’t give us all the customization we’d like; therefore, we’ve disabled it.
Transferring alongside, we’ve handed our newly created geocoder as a parameter to the `addControl` methodology, uncovered to us by our map object. `addControl` accepts a `management` as a parameter.
To create our customized marker, we’ve made use of an occasion uncovered to us by our geocoder object. The `on` occasion listener allows us to subscribe to occasions that occur throughout the geocoder. It accepts numerous [events](https://github.com/mapbox/mapbox-gl-geocoder/blob/grasp/API.md#on) as parameters. We’re listening to the `consequence` occasion, which is fired when an enter is ready.
In a nutshell, on `consequence`, our marker constructor creates a marker, based mostly on the parameters now we have supplied (a draggable attribute and colour, on this case). It returns an object, with which we use the `setLngLat` methodology to get our coordinates. We append the customized marker to our present map utilizing the `addTo` methodology. Lastly, we replace the `middle` property in our occasion with the brand new coordinates.
We even have to trace the motion of our customized marker. We’ve achieved this through the use of the `dragend` occasion listener, and we up to date our `middle` property with the present coordinates.
Let’s replace the template to show our interactive map and ahead geocoder. Replace the coordinates show part in our template with the next:

<div class="coordinates-header">
  <h3>Present Coordinates</h3>
  <p>Latitude: {{ middle[0] }}</p>
  <p>Longitude: {{ middle[1] }}</p>

Bear in mind how we at all times up to date our middle property following an occasion? We’re displaying the coordinates right here based mostly on the present worth.

To elevate our app’s aesthetics, add the next CSS file within the head part of the index.html file. Put this file within the public folder.

<hyperlink href="https://api.tiles.mapbox.com/mapbox-gl-js/v0.53.0/mapbox-gl.css" rel="stylesheet" />

Our app ought to appear to be this now:

Forward geocoding preview
Ahead geocoding preview. (Large preview)

Reverse Geocode Location With Mapbox API

Now, we are going to deal with reverse geocoding our coordinates to text-based places. Let’s write a way that handles that and set off it with the Get Location button in our template.

Reverse geocoding in Mapbox is dealt with by the reverse geocoding API. This accepts longitude, latitude, and entry token as request parameters. This name returns a response payload — sometimes, with numerous particulars. Our concern is the primary object within the options array, the place the reverse geocoded location is.

We’ll have to create a perform that sends the longitude, latitude and access_token of the placement we need to get to the Mapbox API. We have to ship them with the intention to get the main points of that location.

Lastly, we have to replace the location property in our occasion with the worth of the place_name key within the object.

Under the createMap() perform, let’s add a brand new perform that handles what we would like. That is the way it ought to look:

async getLocation() {
  strive {
    this.loading = true;
    const response = await axios.get(
    this.loading = false;
    this.location = response.knowledge.options[0].place_name;
  } catch (err) {
    this.loading = false;

This perform makes a GET request to the Mapbox API. The response accommodates place_name — the title of the chosen location. We get this from the response after which set it as the worth of this.location.

With that finished, we have to edit and arrange the button that can name this perform now we have created. We’ll make use of a click on occasion listener — which is able to name the getLocation methodology when a consumer clicks on it. Go forward and edit the button part to this.

  :class="{ disabled: loading }"
  @click on="getLocation"
  Get Location

As icing on the cake, let’s connect a perform to repeat the displayed location to the clipboard. Add this just under the getLocation perform:

copyLocation() {
  if (this.location) {
    alert("Location Copied")

Replace the Copy button part to set off this:

<button kind="button" class="copy-btn" @click on="copyLocation">


On this information, we’ve checked out geocoding utilizing Mapbox. We constructed a geocoding app that transforms text-based places to coordinates, displaying the placement on an interactive map, and that converts coordinates to text-based places, in keeping with the consumer’s request. This information is only the start. Much more could possibly be achieved with the geocoding APIs, corresponding to altering the presentation of the map utilizing the assorted map styles supplied by Mapbox.


Smashing Editorial
(ks, vf, yk, il, al)

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