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 normal take a look at the ideas of ahead geocoding and reverse geocoding. We are going to construct a mini-app that applies these ideas to show particular areas, utilizing Mapbox and Vue.js 2.6.11 to attain this.

Pinpoint accuracy and modularity are among the many perks that make geocodes the right technique of discovering a specific 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 fundamental understanding of JavaScript and Vue.js and easy methods to make API calls.

What Is Geocoding?

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

Geocoding is of two varieties: 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 provide extra perception, we are going to construct a mini internet app that makes use of an interactive internet map with customized markers to show location coordinates, which we are going to subsequently decode to location texts.

Our app may have the next fundamental capabilities:

  • give the consumer entry to an interactive map show with a marker;
  • enable 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 Undertaking 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 bundle supervisor. You’ll have to clone the repository. Make sure that you’re working from the geocoder/boilerplate department.

Set Up File Construction of Utility

Subsequent, we might want to arrange our challenge’s file construction. Rename the Helloworld.vue file within the element’s folder to Index.vue, and depart 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 "./elements/index.vue";
export default {
  identify: "App",
  elements: {

Right here, we’ve imported after which registered the lately renamed element regionally. We’ve additionally added a navigation bar to raise our app’s aesthetics.

We’d like an .env file to load the surroundings 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 received’t have to put in this as a result of it comes preinstalled with the Vue CLI. It helps us to load surroundings variables from an .env file into process.env. This fashion, we are able to preserve our configurations separate from our code.
  4. Axios
    This library will assist us make HTTP requests.

Set up the packages in your CLI in response to your most well-liked bundle supervisor. For those who’re utilizing Yarn, run the command beneath:

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 are going to want a component to deal with our map, a area to show the coordinates whereas listening to the marker’s motion on the map, and one thing to show the situation once we name the reverse geocoding API. We will home all of this inside a card element.

Copy the next into your Index.vue file:

  <div class="fundamental">
    <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">
              sort="textual content"
            <button sort="button" class="copy-btn">Copy</button>
          <button sort="button" class="location-btn">Get Location</button>

To see what we presently have, begin your improvement server. For Yarn:

yarn serve

Or for npm:

npm run serve

Our app ought to appear like this now:

Scaffold preview
Geocoding app scaffold preview. (Large preview)

The clean spot to the left seems to be 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 novel 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 may assist with placing our map tiles collectively in our knowledge occasion. Add the next beneath 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,
      heart: [0, 0],
      map: {},
  • The location property will likely be modeled to the enter that we have now in our scaffolding. We are going to use this to deal with reverse geocoding (i.e. show a location from the coordinates).
  • The heart property homes our coordinates (longitude and latitude). That is crucial 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 element.

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 element and Mapbox GL; we are going to name this methodology createMap. Add this beneath the info object:

mounted() {

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

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

To create our map, we’ve specified a container that homes the map, a model property for our map’s show format, and a heart property to deal with our coordinates. The heart property is an array sort 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 remodeling text-based areas to coordinates. This can seem within the type of a search enter field appended to our map.

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

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


geocoder.on("outcome", (e) => {
  const marker = new mapboxgl.Marker({
    draggable: true,
    coloration: "#D80739",
  this.heart = e.outcome.heart;
  marker.on("dragend", (e) => {
    this.heart = 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) presently used.
Core to our app is the customized marker; the geocoder comes with one by default. This, nonetheless, wouldn’t give us the entire customization we want; 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 `outcome` occasion, which is fired when an enter is about.
In a nutshell, on `outcome`, our marker constructor creates a marker, based mostly on the parameters we have now supplied (a draggable attribute and coloration, 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 `heart` property in our occasion with the brand new coordinates.
We even have to trace the motion of our customized marker. We’ve achieved this by utilizing the `dragend` occasion listener, and we up to date our `heart` 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: {{ heart[0] }}</p>
  <p>Longitude: {{ heart[1] }}</p>

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

To raise 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 like 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 areas. 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 — usually, 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 situation we need to get to the Mapbox API. We have to ship them with a purpose 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 wish. 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 identify of the chosen location. We get this from the response after which set it as the worth of this.location.

With that accomplished, we have to edit and arrange the button that may name this perform we have now 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 element 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 slightly below the getLocation perform:

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

Replace the Copy button element to set off this:

<button sort="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 areas to coordinates, displaying the situation on an interactive map, and that converts coordinates to text-based areas, in response to the consumer’s request. This information is only the start. Much more could possibly be achieved with the geocoding APIs, equivalent 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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