Meta Box Geolocation

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The Meta Box Geolocation is helpful if you have multiple custom fields for location such as address, zipcode, city, state and country. Letting users manually fill in these fields might be a boring time-consuming job. This extension helps you fill in these information quickly by using Geocoding API from Google. So that you just need to enter an address, it will autosuggest a complete address and fill all other fields.

Take a look at the screenshot:

auto suggest geolocation data

For more information, please see the extension page.


Before installing the extension, you need to install Meta Box plugin first.

  1. Go to Plugins → Add New and search for Meta Box
  2. Click Install Now button to install the plugin
  3. After installing, click Activate Plugin to activate the plugin

The extension is just a WordPress plugin, you can install it like a normal WordPress plugin.

  1. Go to Plugins, click Add new, then click Upload plugin.
  2. Choose the .zip file you downloaded and click Install now
  3. After finishing upload, click Activate to finish.

Make sure you know how to create meta boxes and fields before continuing!

Enabling geolocation

Google Maps API

Before enabling Geolocation, make sure you create a project for Google Maps in the Google Cloud Platform Console. And don’t forget to enable the following APIs:

  • Google Maps API
  • Geocoding API
  • Places API

And then create an API key for Google Maps. See here for instruction. You’ll need this key to perform any call to Google Maps platform.

Enable geolocation support for a meta box.

To enable geolocation support for a meta box, add this line to your Meta Box (not field) settings:

'geo' => array(
    'api_key' => 'YOUR API KEY',

If you’re using Meta Box Builder, then please go to tab Settings and add a custom attribute for the geolocation as follows:

adding google maps api key in builder

You can also add options to Geolocation. Which can contains these properties:

  • types: array of geocode types:
    • geocode: only geocoding results, no business results.
    • address: only geocoding results with a precise address.
    • establishment: business results.
    • (cities): only results that match either locality or administrative_area3.
    • (regions): any result matching the following types:
      • locality
      • sublocality
      • postal_code
      • country
      • administrative_area1
      • administrative_area2
  • componentRestrictions: restrict results to a specific country, must be ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 compatible country code. You can find code information at Wikipedia: List of ISO 3166 country codes.


// Restrict the result in Australia only
'geo' => array(
    'api_key' => 'YOUR API KEY',
    'componentRestrictions' => array(
        'country' => 'au'

// Return only business results
'geo' => array(
    'api_key' => 'YOUR API KEY',
    'types' => array( 'establishment' )

// Return only cities and business results
'geo' => array(
    'api_key' => 'YOUR API KEY',
    'types' => array( '(cities)', 'establishment' )

Adding autocomplete field

To add an auto complete field. Simply add a text field and set it id starts with address. Like address or address_something… The plugin will treat that field as auto complete address field.

You can add auto complete to textarea, it works but will generate warning messages.

Populating field data

Address Components

When you selected an address from Auto-Complete field. It returns an array of Address Component Types. Which you can use it to populate to other fields. The following types are supported by Google:

Type Description  
street_address indicates a precise street address.  
route indicates a named route (such as “US 101”).  
intersection indicates a major intersection, usually of two major roads.  
political indicates a political entity. Usually, this type indicates a polygon of some civil administration.  
country indicates the national political entity and is typically the highest order type returned by the Geocoder.  
administrative_area_level_1 indicates a first-order civil entity below the country level. Within the United States, these administrative levels are states. Not all nations exhibit these administrative levels.  
administrative_area_level_2 indicates a second-order civil entity below the country level. Within the United States, these administrative levels are counties. Not all nations exhibit these administrative levels.  
administrative_area_level_3 indicates a third-order civil entity below the country level. This type indicates a minor civil division. Not all nations exhibit these administrative levels.  
administrative_area_level_4 indicates a fourth-order civil entity below the country level. This type indicates a minor civil division. Not all nations exhibit these administrative levels.  
administrative_area_level_5 indicates a fifth-order civil entity below the country level. This type indicates a minor civil division. Not all nations exhibit these administrative levels.  
colloquial_area indicates a commonly-used alternative name for the entity.  
locality indicates an incorporated city or town political entity.  
sublocality indicates a first-order civil entity below a locality. For some locations may receive one of the additional types: sublocality_level_1 through to sublocality_level_5. Each sublocality level is a civil entity. Larger numbers indicate a smaller geographic area.
neighborhood indicates a named neighborhood.  
premise indicates a named location, usually a building or collection of buildings with a common name  
subpremise indicates the first-order entity below a named location, usually a singular building within a collection of buildings with a common name.  
postal_code indicates a postal code as used to address postal mail within the country.  
natural_feature indicates a prominent natural feature.  
airport indicates an airport.  
park indicates a named park.  
post_box indicates a specific postal box.  
street_number indicates the precise street number.  
floor indicates the floor of a building address.  
room indicates the room of a building address.  
lat indicates latitude of the result  
lng indicates longitude of the result  
geometry same as latitude,longitude  
formatted_address returns human readable complete address  
id unique id of current location  
url url of current location  

For more information about address components visit: Google Address Component Types

Auto Populate

To auto populate data to the field. Just set that field’s ID same as one of Address Component Type above. For example, you create a number field with ID postal_code. The postal code type will auto populate to that field if exists.

Long name and Short Name

Let’s say we have a country named ‘Australia’. The long name is ‘Australia’ and short name is ‘AU’. And so on, if we have a state named ‘Queensland’, so ‘Queensland’ is the long name and ‘QLD’ is the short name.

By default, Meta Box Geolocation will populate the long name of the field. But you can use the short name by adding _short at the end of field id. For example: administrative_area_level_1_short, country_short

Binding Template

The power of Meta Box Geolocation is you can bind anything into a field. Let’s say we have a field with id dummy_field, this field id is not in Address Component Types list so by default the plugin won’t auto populate data to it. Now we’ll bind administrative_area_level_1 to that field. Just add

'binding' => 'administrative_area_level_1'

Example Result: Queensland

You can tell that field to use short version by prepending short: keyword

'binding' => 'short:administrative_area_level_1'

Example Result: QLD

You can also merge two fields, add any character you want to bind to that field. Like so:

'binding' => 'short:administrative_area_level_1 + " " + country'

Example Result: QLD Australia

Multiple autocomplete addresses

In case you have multiple “group” of address fields, such as address details for head office and address details for a company branch. In each group, there are an autocomplete address field. And it will autopopulate only fields in the group, e.g. the address for head office only populates the fields in the head office group, not in the company branch.

In this case, please set another attribute 'address_field' => 'address_id' for each field in the group. See an example code below:

 * Head office
// Address
    'id' => 'address_ho',
    'type' => 'text',
    'name' => 'Address - Head Office',
// City
    'id' => 'city_ho',
    'type' => 'text',
    'name' => 'City - Head Office',
    'binding' => 'locality',
    'address_field' => 'address_ho', // THIS

 * A company branche
// Address
    'id' => 'address_br',
    'type' => 'text',
    'name' => 'Address - Branch',
// City
    'id' => 'city_br',
    'type' => 'text',
    'name' => 'City - Branch',
    'binding' => 'locality',
    'address_field' => 'address_br', // THIS

Google API Key in old versions

Prior version 1.2.0, you need to use a filter to gmap_api_params like so:

add_filter( 'gmap_api_params', function( $params ) {
    $params['key'] = 'YOUR API KEY';
    return $params;

Also notes that since version 1.2.1, if you use Geolocation with map field, you need to enter the Google API key only once, either for the Geolocation extension or for the map. No need to enter the same key for both of them.

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