AngularJS with Google Geocode Validation

In this article I will explain how I created a location validation directive. This article is an example of how to use promises in directives. The directive is written in Javascript for AngularJS. The directive is applied to a form input. The directive uses an AngularJS service to communicate with Geocode in Google Maps API. The service responds to the directive with a promise.

Create the Example Form

A simple form is made to test the validation and service. This form has only one input and a submit box. The input will have its value validated to be a real location. The submit box is disabled until the form is valid.

<form novalidate name="newForm" class="app-form css-form">
  <input type="text" name="fLocation" class="form-control" ng-model="formData.location"
    placeholder="Location" ng-pattern="/^[a-zA-Z, ]*$/" valid-Location required/>
  <button class="form-control btn btn-success" ng-disabled="newForm.$invalid"

Creating an AngularJS Validation Directive

Now lets create the validation directive. When I started this task I followed the custom validation example at the AngularJS website. The function numberOfLocations in the geocode service returns a promise. In order to understand promises I read the article “Promises Explained as a Cartoon.” To act on a promise you add code to a function called by then.

.directive('validLocation', ['GeoCode', function(geoCode) {
  return {
    require: 'ngModel',
    link: function(scope, elm, attrs, ctrl) {
      ctrl.$parsers.push(function(viewValue) {
        if (viewValue.length < 5) {
          ctrl.$setValidity('validLocation', false);
          return undefined;
        .then(function(results) {
          console.log('results', results);
          if (1 == results) {
            ctrl.$setValidity('validLocation', true);
            return viewValue;
          } else {
            ctrl.$setValidity('validLocation', false);
            return undefined;

Make sure that if you use camel case to define your directive you don’t use camel case in your HTML form. As you can see above I have “valid-location”, while my directive is “validLocation.” Note they use “unshift” on the $parsers, while I use “push.” This is to just add it to the list of parsers and leave it up to your ordering in the HTML to dictate priority. “Unshift,” would always put it at the top.

Creating the Geocode AngularJS Service

In this part we will be creating an adapter for the Google Geocode service that returns a promise. Geocoding is the process of looking up latitude and longitude from a string. The Google Geocoding API requires a general location to begin its search. In this example the variable myLatLng is that location. To create a promise follow this easy pattern:

  1. Create the deferred.
  2. Call the asynchronous function/long running function. It MUST return deferred.resole and/or deferred.reject.
  3. Return the deferred promise.

You can see this pattern being followed in this service.

.factory('GeoCode', function($q) {
  return {
    numberOfLocations: function(address) {
      var geocoder = new google.maps.Geocoder();
      var deferred = $q.defer();
      var myLatLng = new google.maps.LatLng(36.05, -118.25);
      geocoder.geocode( {'address': address, latLng: myLatLng }, function(results, status) {
        if (status == google.maps.GeocoderStatus.OK) {
          return deferred.resolve(results.length);
        return deferred.reject();
      return deferred.promise;