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Location finder with zero coding using Drupal location, gmap and views modules

Drupal is a such a powerful and mature platform that you can build a full featured location finder (e.g. Store Locator) with zero coding, with judicious configuration and some fantastic contrib modules.

Here's a rundown of the features:

  • A very flexible Store Location content type with any number and types of custom fields (such as service offered, store hours etc.)
  • Import any number of store locations — along with custom fields — from a CSV file.
  • Automatically geocode (assign latitude & longitude) the locations based on the address entered.
  • A search form and result listing (a Drupal views view with an exposed form) that shows matching locations.
  • The user can enter their zip code and see the distance of the location from their zipcode. And also sort based on distance.
  • Show all matching locations on an interactive map.

So, let's get started.

  1. Install and configure the location module. It provides a special "location" field type that not only holds an address, but also holds geographical coordinates (latitude & longitude). It also has capability to convert an address into lat/long. As of this writing, you must use the 7.x-3.x-dev version of the module, and not the recommended release, because of a serious bug.
  2. Create a content type for Store Location, including the custom fields relevant to your business.
  3. Download this CSV file from here and unzip it.
  4. Create a feeds importer to import the CSV file rows as Store Location nodes. Don't forget to add the location_feeds module.
  5. Create a view with "page" display, a "gmap" attachment display, and an exposed filter to enter the zipcode.
  6. Finally, package the whole setup as a feature.