grat·i·cule |ˈgratəˌkyoōl|
    Navigation. a network of parallels and meridians on a map or chart.

Graticule is a geocoding API for looking up address coordinates and performing distance calculations. It supports many popular APIs:

  • Mapbox
  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • MapQuest
  • Geonames
  • SimpleGeo
  • Postcode Anywhere
  • MetaCarta
  • FreeThePostcode
  • LocalSearchMaps
  • Yandex


gem install graticule


There is a companion Rails plugin called acts_as_geocodable that makes geocoding seem like magic.

Graticule exposes to main APIs: location search and distance calculations. Graticule also provides a command line utility.

Location Search / Geocoding

require 'rubygems'
require 'graticule'

geocoder = Graticule.service(:google).new "api_key"
location = geocoder.locate("61 East 9th Street, Holland, MI")

For specific service documentation, please visit the documentation.

Distance Calculation

Graticule includes 3 different distance formulas, Spherical (simplest but least accurate), Vincenty (most accurate and most complicated), and Haversine (somewhere inbetween). The default is Haversine. There are two ways to calculate the distance between two points.

First is Location#distance_to:

holland = geocoder.locate("Holland, MI")
chicago = geocoder.locate("Chicago, IL")
holland.distance_to(chicago, :formula => :haversine) # or :spherical or :vincenty
# => 101.997458788177

You can also use the formula classes directly:

Graticule::Distance::Haversine.distance(holland, chicago)
# => 101.997458788177

All units are miles by default, but you can switch to kilometers with the units option

holland.distance_to(chicago, :units => :kilometers)
Graticule::Distance::Haversine.distance(holland, chicago, :kilometers)

Command Line

Graticule includes a command line interface (CLI). The CLI does not currently support all of the implemented services.

$ geocode -s google -a [api_key] Washington, DC
Washington, DC US
latitude: 38.895222, longitude: -77.036758


In the spirit of free software, everyone is encouraged to help improve this project.

Here are some ways you can contribute:

  • Reporting bugs
  • Suggesting new features
  • Writing or editing documentation
  • Writing specifications
  • Writing code (no patch is too small: fix typos, add comments, clean up inconsistent whitespace)
  • Refactoring code
  • Reviewing patches

Submitting an Issue

We use the GitHub issue tracker to track bugs and features. Before submitting a bug report or feature request, check to make sure it hasn't already been submitted. When submitting a bug report, please include a Gist that includes a stack trace and any details that may be necessary to reproduce the bug, including your gem version, Ruby version, and operating system.

Submitting a Pull Request

  1. Fork the project.
  2. Create a topic branch.
  3. Implement your feature or bug fix.
  4. Add specs for your feature or bug fix.
  5. Run rake. If your changes are not 100% covered and passing, go back to step 4.
  6. Commit and push your changes.
  7. Submit a pull request. Please do not include changes to the gemspec, version, or history file. (If you want to create your own version for some reason, please do so in a separate commit.)

Blog posts about Graticule

Geocoder: Alternative Geocoding library