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acts_as_geocodable helps you build geo-aware applications. It automatically geocodes your models when they are saved, giving you the ability to search by location and calculate distances between records.

Beginning with version 2, we require Rails 3. Use one of the 1.0.x tags to work with Rails 2.3.

We’ve adopted the ARel style syntax for finding records.


event = Event.create :street => "777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.",
  :locality => "Portland", :region => "Oregon", :postal_code => 97232

event.geocode.latitude                                #=> 45.529100000000
event.geocode.longitude                               #=> -122.644200000000

event.distance_to "49423"                             #=> 1807.66560483205

Event.origin("97232", :within => 50)

Event.origin("Portland, OR").nearest


Install as a gem

gem install acts_as_geocodable

or add it to your Gemfile

gem 'acts_as_geocodable'

Graticule is used for all the heavy lifting and will be installed too.


Before October 2008, precision wasn’t included in the Geocode model. Make sure you add a string precision column to your geocode table if you’re upgrading from an older version, and update Graticule.

Also, if you’re upgrading from a previous version of this plugin, note that :city has been renamed to :locality to be consistent with Graticule 0.2. Create a migration that has:

rename_column :geocodes, :city, :locality

Also remember to change your mapping in your geocodable classes to use the :locality key instead of :city:

class Event < ActiveRecord::Base
  acts_as_geocodable :address => {:street => :address1, :locality => :city,
    :region => :state, :postal_code => :zip}


Create the required tables

rails generate acts_as_geocodable
rake db:migrate

Set the default geocoder in your environment.rb file.

Geocode.geocoder = Graticule.service(:yahoo).new 'your_api_key'

Then, in each model you want to make geocodable, add acts_as_geocodable.

class Event < ActiveRecord::Base

The only requirement is that your model must have address fields. By default, acts_as_geocodable looks for attributes called street, locality, region, postal_code, and country. To change these, you can provide a mapping in the :address option:

class Event < ActiveRecord::Base
  acts_as_geocodable :address => {:street => :address1, :locality => :city, :region => :state, :postal_code => :zip}

If that doesn’t meet your needs, simply override the default to_location method in your model, and return a Graticule::Location with those attributes set.

acts_as_geocodable can also update your address fields with the data returned from the geocoding service:

class Event < ActiveRecord::Base
  acts_as_geocodable :normalize_address => true

IP-based Geocoding

acts_as_geocodable adds a remote_location method in your controllers that uses to guess remote users location based on their IP address.

def index
  @nearest = Store.origin(remote_location).nearest if remote_location
  @stores = Store.all

Keep in mind that IP-based geocoding is not always accurate, and often will not return any results.


Patches and suggestions are welcome!

To Do

  • configurable formulas