Calculate the distance between two string addresses

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This is the documentation of the forest-express-sequelize and forest-express-mongoose Node.js agents that will soon reach end-of-support.

forest-express-sequelize v9 and forest-express-mongoose v9 are replaced by @forestadmin/agent v1.

Please check your agent type and version and read on or switch to the right documentation.

Calculate the distance between two string addresses

Context: As a user I want to be able to obtain the distance between two objects that have address information as a string.

Example: I have a collection places that has lineAddress1, addressCity and country fields.

In a smart action called get distance to another place called from a specific place, I want to be able to select another place, choosing the locomotion mode and get the distance between the two and duration of trip.


First you need to declare the action and the content of the form.


const { collection } = require('forest-express-sequelize');

collection('places', {
  actions: [
      name: 'get distance to other place',
      fields: [
          field: 'destination',
          reference: '',
          field: 'mode',
          type: 'Enum',
          enums: ['driving', 'bicycling', 'walking'],
  fields: [],
  segments: [],

Then you need to implement the logic of the action. Here we use the service superagent to handle api calls.

The process has two main steps:

  • call to the places api to retrieve the place_id identifier corresponding to the string address of the origin and destination (that is computed as a complete address based on the separate addressLine1, addressCity and country fields)

  • call to the distance matrix api to retrieve the distance information based on the origin and destination's place_ids

The result returned to the UI is formatted in html to enable a good display to the user.


const express = require('express');
const superagent = require('superagent');
const { PermissionMiddlewareCreator } = require('forest-express-sequelize');
const { places } = require('../models');

const router = express.Router();
const permissionMiddlewareCreator = new PermissionMiddlewareCreator('places');
  async (request, response, next) => {
    let origin = {};
    let destination = {};
    const attr =;
    const where = {
      id: [attr.ids[0], attr.values.destination],

    function computeFullAddress(address) {
      return `${address.addressLine1},${address.addressCity}, ${}`;

    function setOriginDestination(addressesArray) {
      addressesArray.forEach((address) => {
        if (`${}` === attr.ids[0]) {
          origin = { address: computeFullAddress(address) };
        } else {
          destination = { address: computeFullAddress(address) };

    function getPlaceId(place) {
      return superagent
          input: place.address,
          inputtype: 'textquery',
          fields: 'place_id,geometry/location',
          key: process.env.GOOGLE_API_KEY,
        .then((res) => {
          const data = JSON.parse(res.text);
          return data.candidates[0].place_id;
    //get the addresses records based on the current record id and the selected destination id
    const addressesRecords = await places.findAll({ where });
    //add the full address to the empty objects origin and destination
    // retrieve the place_id for the origin and destination
    const googlePlaceIds = await Promise.all([
    [origin.placeId, destination.placeId] = googlePlaceIds;

    //perform call to the distance matrix api
    return superagent
        origins: `place_id:${origin.placeId}`,
        destinations: `place_id:${destination.placeId}`,
        key: process.env.GOOGLE_API_KEY,
        // the mode here corresponds to the one selected in the action form
        mode: attr.values.mode,
      .then((res) => {
        return JSON.parse(res.text);
      .then((results) => {
          html: `
        <strong class="c-form__label--read c-clr-1-2">Distance between</strong>
        <p class="c-clr-1-4 l-mb">${results.origin_addresses[0]}</p>
        <p class="c-clr-1-4 l-mb">and</p>
        <p class="c-clr-1-4 l-mb">${results.destination_addresses[0]}</p>
        <strong class="c-form__label--read c-clr-1-2">Distance</strong>
        <p class="c-clr-1-4 l-mb">${results.rows[0].elements[0].distance.text}</p>
        <strong class="c-form__label--read c-clr-1-2">Duration</strong>
        <p class="c-clr-1-4 l-mb">${results.rows[0].elements[0].duration.text}</p>
      .catch((e) => console.log(e.response.error));

module.exports = router;

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