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Google Maps v3 search with jQuery UI Autocomplete, ready for use with Rails asset pipeline
Ruby CSS JavaScript CoffeeScript
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Gmaps autocomplete for Rails

Extracted from gmaps-autocomplete and improved markedly and then packaged for use with Rails as an asset gem :)

See it in action here:

Some more explanation here:


In your project Gemfile

gem 'jquery-rails'
gem 'jquery-ui-rails'
gem 'gmaps-autocomplete-rails'

Then run bundle install;)

Packed and ready for use with the Asset pipeline :)

Add to javascript manifest file, fx application.js

//= require jquery_ujs
//= require jquery.ui.all
//= require gmaps-autocomplete

And include the google maps script before application.js, fx in your layout file:

See google maps and RoR


<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<%= javascript_include_tag "application" %>

Note also that the autocomplete script depends on jQuery 1.6+.



$(document).ready(function() { 

or coffeescript

$ ->


To avoid loading google maps script on all pages, either use turbolinks or alternatively conditionally load it depending on the page. For this you could use a simple Page model:

class Page
  include ::ActiveModel::Model

  attr_accessor :name, :type, :mode

  def map?
    mode && mode.to_s =~ /location/

Then use the Page in the controller

class PropertiesController < BaseController
  def show
    @name = params[:id]
    @mode = params[:mode] || 'gallery'
    @page = name: :property, mode: @mode

Then use page instance to have fine-grained control over how to display the page!

<% if %>
  <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<% end %>
<%= javascript_include_tag "application" %>

Nice ;)

Alternatively perhaps use RequireJS via the requirejs-rails gem, and load it "AMD" style, and then use a HTML data attribute to set if the page should load the google map script or not. There are many possibilities and design patterns ;)

Configuration options

init() can take an option hash, using the following defaults:

defaultOptions = {
  mapElem: "#gmaps-canvas", 
  zoomLevel: 2, 
  mapType: google.maps.MapTypeId.ROADMAP,
  pos: [51.751724, -1.255284],
  inputField: '#gmaps-input-address',
  errorField: '#gmaps-error',
  debugOn: false

Advanced Configuration

init() can take an option hash, using the following defaults:

defaultOptions = {
  mapElem: "#gmaps-canvas", 
  zoomLevel: 2, 
  mapType: google.maps.MapTypeId.ROADMAP,
  pos: [51.751724, -1.255284],
  inputField: '#gmaps-input-address',
  errorField: '#gmaps-error',
  debugOn: false

The following default methods can be replaced by configuration:

  positionOutputter: this.defaultPositionOutputter,
  updateUI : this.defaultUpdateUI,
  updateMap : this.defaultUpdateMap

autoCompleteInit also takes an option hash, but currently only region and country can be used.

autoCompleteInit({region: 'DK', country: 'Denmark'});

Will make searches in the DK region and remove ', Denmark' from the result.

Use with Rails form helpers

= simple_form_for(@post) do |f|
    = f.input :address, :input_html =>{:id => 'gmaps-input-address'}, :placeholder => 'Start typing a place...'


See spec/index.html for an example page using this "plugin". Note that if you set mapElemto null or leave out that element on the page, the autocomplete will function without attempting to update the map :)

Advanced Customization

Some of the prime candidate functions for customization are:

  • updateUi
  • updateMap

Here the default simple updateUI implementation:

updateUi: function( address, latLng ) {


Let's enrich the autocomplete fields with a jobs count for "the area" for each address.

updateUi: function( address, latLng ) {

  var jobsCount = $.ajax(url: 'jobs/search?address=' + address + '&type=count');

  $(this.inputField).val(address + ' (' + jobsCount + ' jobs)');

Customizing messages

For now, directly define your own implementation (override) the following functions directly on GmapsAutoComplete

  • geocodeErrorMsg: function()
  • invalidAddressMsg: function(value)
  • noAddressFoundMsg: function()


GmapsAutoComplete.geocodeErrorMsg = function() {
  "Geocode error!"

Formtastic example

For formtastic something like:

= semantic_form_for @search do |f|
  = f.input :address, placeholder: 'find address'

And matching configuration in your javascript:

$(document).ready(function() { 
  GmapsAutoComplete.init({inputField: 'form#search #address', errorField: 'form#search #address_error'});
  GmapsAutoComplete.autoCompleteInit({region: 'DK'});



  • better Javascript encapsulation
  • translation to Coffeescript using Coffee classes :)

Please help out with suggestions and improvements etc!

Contributing to gmaps-autocomplete-rails

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet.
  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it.
  • Fork the project.
  • Start a feature/bugfix branch.
  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution.
  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Please try not to mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, or is otherwise necessary, that is fine, but please isolate to its own commit so I can cherry-pick around it.


Copyright (c) 2012 Kristian Mandrup. See LICENSE.txt for further details.

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