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Google Maps + React Hooks

Mar 19, 20192 min readWeb Dev, Tutorial, JS

Contents

Had to share this one since it’s so nice and simple. If you’re looking for a drop-in, zero-dependency Google Maps React component, look no further.

src/components/map.js
import React, { useEffect, useRef } from 'react'

export default function Map({ options, onMount, className, onMountProps }) {
  const ref = useRef()
  const [map, setMap] = useState()

  useEffect(() => {
    const onLoad = () => setMap(new window.google.maps.Map(ref.current, options))
    if (!window.google) {
      const script = document.createElement(`script`)
      script.src =
        `https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/js?key=` +
        process.env.GOOGLE_MAPS_API_KEY
      document.head.append(script)
      script.addEventListener(`load`, onLoad)
      return () => script.removeEventListener(`load`, onLoad)
    } else onLoad()
  }, [options])

  if (map && typeof onMount === `function`) onMount(onMountProps)(map)

  return (
    <div
      style={{ height: `60vh`, margin: `1em 0`, borderRadius: `0.5em` }}
      {...{ ref, className }}
    />
  )
}

Map.defaultProps = {
  options: {
    center: { lat: 48, lng: 8 },
    zoom: 5,
  },
}

To use it, simply grab a free Google Maps API key from Google’s cloud console (here’s a guide for that) and either add it to your .env file or paste it in directly for process.env.GOOGLE_MAPS_API_KEY.

Then simply drop in the above Map component wherever you’d like to display a Google map.

src/app.js
import React from 'react'
import Map from 'components/map.js'

export default () => (
  <div>
    <h1>Google Maps</h1>
    <Map /> 
  </div>
)

This is what it looks like by default.

Customization

To change the area shown by the map and its zoom level, pass an options object containing the keys center and zoom.

mapProps = {
  options: {
    center: { lat: 20, lng: 40 },
    zoom: 4,
  },
}

<Map {...mapProps} /> 

If you’d like to do something more fancy you can also pass an onMount function. For example, the following function adds some markers to the map.

const addMarkers = links => map => {
  links.forEach((link, index) => {
    const marker = new window.google.maps.Marker({
      map,
      position: link.coords,
      label: `${index + 1}`,
      title: link.title,
    })
    marker.addListener(`click`, () => {
      window.location.href = link.url
    })
  })
}

mapProps = {
  options: { center: { lat: 20, lng: 40 }, zoom: 4 },
  onMount: addMarkers, 
  onMountProps: linksComingFromSomewhere 
}

<Map {...mapProps} />

linksComingFromSomewhere is an array of link objects of shape

const link = {
  coords: { lat: 42, lng: 51 }, // required: latitude & longitude
  // at which to display the marker
  title: `Life, the Universe and Area 51`, // optional
  url: `https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_51`, // optional
}

Note that the onMount function must be curried since the Map component itself calls that function, first passing in the forwarded arguments (onMountProps) and only then supplying the map object.

Optimization

By default, the Map component will rerender whenever the parent component rerenders. There are two problems with this. First, it wastes computation since there’s no need to rerender the map if its props didn’t change. Second and more importantly, it ruins the user experience since the map will jump back to its initial center and zoom on every rerender. To prevent this, you can easily create a memoized map with the useCallback hook:

src/app.js
import React, { useCallback } from 'react' 
import Map from 'components/map.js'

const MemoMap = useCallback(<Map />, []) 

export default () => (
  <div>
    <h1>This is a memoized map</h1>
    {MemoMap} 
  </div>
)

In fact, you may want to make memoization part of the Map component itself by replacing

export default function Map({ options, onMount, className, onMountProps }) {
  ...
}

with

src/components/map.js
import { isEqual, omit, functions } from 'lodash'

function Map({ options, onMount, className }) {
  ...
}

function shouldNotUpdate(props, nextProps) {
  const [funcs, nextFuncs] = [functions(props), functions(nextProps)]
  const noPropChange = isEqual(omit(props, funcs), omit(nextProps, nextFuncs))
  const noFuncChange =
    funcs.length === nextFuncs.length &&
    funcs.every(fn => props[fn].toString() === nextProps[fn].toString())
  return noPropChange && noFuncChange
}

export default React.memo(Map, shouldNotUpdate) 

React.memo shallowly compares props and only rerenders a function component if the comparison returns false. It’s the equivalent of PureComponent for class components. For components that receive objects, arrays and functions as props which are often referentially different on every render, the default behavior of shallow prop comparison can be overridden by passing a custom comparison function as second argument. It takes the next and previous props as input and returns true if the update should be skipped or false if the component should rerender.

The above shouldNotUpdate function uses the functions and omit utilities imported from lodash to first identify and remove all (top-level) functions from props and nextProps (in the above example, this only handles the onMount function but you may use additional functions in the future that would automatically be handled correctly by shouldNotUpdate). It then deep-compares the remaining props using isEqual followed by comparing the string representations of all omitted functions. If both comparisons return true, it skips the rerender and the user gets to keep the map’s current position and zoom level.

One little gotcha that took me some time to figure out is that you also need to modify the onLoad function for shouldNotUpdate to work correctly. The problem is that the Google Maps API modifies the options object passed to the Map constructor in-place (specifically, it adds a mapTypeId with default value 'roadmap'). But only on the first render. The options object of subsequent renders remains unchanged. So on the first call to shouldNotUpdate, props will have this key (props.options.mapTypeId) but nextProps won’t. Hence the Map component will think it needs to rerender even though nothing has changed. To fix this, we simply pass the Map constructor a copy of the options object rather than the object itself.

const onLoad = () => setMap(new window.google.maps.Map(ref.current, { ...options }))

Final Implementation

Putting all of the above together, here’s the full component that I use in production.

src/components/map.js
import { functions, isEqual, omit } from 'lodash'
import React, { useState, useEffect, useRef } from 'react'

function Map({ options, onMount, className, onMountProps }) {
  const ref = useRef()
  const [map, setMap] = useState()

  useEffect(() => {
    // The Google Maps API modifies the options object passed to
    // the Map constructor in place by adding a mapTypeId with default
    // value 'roadmap'. { ...options } prevents this by creating a copy.
    const onLoad = () =>
      setMap(new window.google.maps.Map(ref.current, { ...options }))
    if (!window.google) {
      const script = document.createElement(`script`)
      script.src =
        `https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/js?key=` +
        process.env.GOOGLE_MAPS_API_KEY
      document.head.append(script)
      script.addEventListener(`load`, onLoad)
      return () => script.removeEventListener(`load`, onLoad)
    } else onLoad()
  }, [options])

  if (map && typeof onMount === `function`) onMount(onMountProps)(map)

  return (
    <div
      style={{ height: `60vh`, margin: `1em 0`, borderRadius: `0.5em` }}
      {...{ ref, className }}
    />
  )
}

function shouldNotUpdate(props, nextProps) {
  const [funcs, nextFuncs] = [functions(props), functions(nextProps)]
  const noPropChange = isEqual(omit(props, funcs), omit(nextProps, nextFuncs))
  const noFuncChange =
    funcs.length === nextFuncs.length &&
    funcs.every(fn => props[fn].toString() === nextProps[fn].toString())
  return noPropChange && noFuncChange
}

export default React.memo(Map, shouldNotUpdate)

Map.defaultProps = {
  options: {
    center: { lat: 48, lng: 8 },
    zoom: 5,
  },
}
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