Google Maps API with Webpack

Google Map application that uses a draggable location marker to set address, longitude and latitude geocode inputs. This post covers some of the Webpack tools for both a local development environment and production build of the app constructed of a few JavaScript modules and css.

For application details, I encourage you to read my Google Maps API with Browserify post from a year ago. The following overview highlights building the refactored code with Webpack. This refactor brings the application more up to date with ES6 standards. Other changes include the removal of jQuery as a dependency. All of the source code is available for download and browsing at GitHub.


Here is the updated package.json for installing webpack, loaders and other dependencies. This file also defines [scripts]( "npm-scripts") to start and [run]( commands.

  "name": "gmap-webpack",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  "description": "location inputs populated by google maps api, built with webpack",
  "main": "",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "cross-env NODE_ENV=development webpack-dev-server --progress --inline --open",
    "build": "cross-env NODE_ENV=production webpack"
  "devDependencies": {
    "babel-core": "^6.0.0",
    "babel-loader": "^6.0.0",
    "babel-preset-es2015": "^6.0.0",
    "cross-env": "^3.2.3",
    "css-loader": "^0.25.0",
    "style-loader": "^0.13.2",
    "webpack": "^2.2.1",
    "webpack-dev-server": "^2.4.1"

The npm start command is using the cross-env plugin to set the Node environment variable properly for the platform. The webpack-dev-server then bundles the modules and launches a static web server inline for live reloading.

The npm run build command uses cross-env to set the environment flag. Then webpack bundles the modules according to the webpack.config below optimized with a source-map for production.

const path = require('path')
const webpack = require('webpack')

module.exports = {
    context: path.resolve(__dirname, './src'),
    entry: {
        app: './js/index.js',
    output: {
        path: path.resolve(__dirname, './dist'),
        publicPath: '/dist/',
        filename: 'bundle.js'
    devtool: '#eval-source-map',
    module: {
        rules: [{
            test: /\.js$/,
            loader: 'babel-loader',
            exclude: /node_modules/
            test: /\.css$/,
            use: ['style-loader','css-loader']

if (process.env.NODE_ENV === 'production') {
  module.exports.devtool = '#source-map'
  module.exports.plugins = (module.exports.plugins || []).concat([
    new webpack.DefinePlugin({
      'process.env': {
        NODE_ENV: '"production"'
    new webpack.optimize.UglifyJsPlugin({
      sourceMap: true,
      compress: {
        warnings: false
    new webpack.LoaderOptionsPlugin({
      minimize: true

In the webpack.config.js file, the output.publicPath property is used by the webpack-dev-server to determine where the bundles should be served from.

The devtool property controls if and how source maps are generated. eval-source-map is for faster rebuild when in development. In production mode, devtool is set to use the appropriate source-map style instead.

To test drive the app and experiment with the dev server and live reloading, follow these steps assuming you have Node.js installed.

  1. Download and extract the source code or use git to clone the uiCookbook repository from
  2. Navigate to the uiCookbook/geocode/gmap-webpack folder in your CLI, such as terminal or Cygwin.
  3. Run npm i or npm install
  4. Run npm start to bring up the dev server, bundle the modules and load the app in the browser.
Source Code

A Vue.js version of the Google Maps applicaton is available in the geocode/gmap-vue directory. The vue-cli webpack-simple scaffold was used to generate the Vue.js 2 project template.

Part 3 of 3 in the Google Maps API series.

Part 1 | Google Maps API with Browserify

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