Doctrine functions for calculating geographical distances in your Symfony project.

1.3.1 2015-12-29 22:38 UTC


CraueGeoBundle provides Doctrine functions for your Symfony project which allow you to calculate geographical distances within database queries. This bundle is independent of any web service, so once you got it running, it will keep running. There are two Doctrine functions, which return a distance in km:

  • GEO_DISTANCE takes latitude + longitude for origin and destination
  • GEO_DISTANCE_BY_POSTAL_CODE takes country + postal code for origin and destination


Get the bundle

Let Composer download and install the bundle by running

php composer.phar require craue/geo-bundle:~1.3

in a shell.

Enable the bundle

// in app/AppKernel.php
public function registerBundles() {
    $bundles = array(
        // ...
        new Craue\GeoBundle\CraueGeoBundle(),
    // ...

Prepare the table with geographical data needed for calculations

The GEO_DISTANCE_BY_POSTAL_CODE function, if you'd like to use it, relies on some data which has to be added to your database first.

Create the table

The GeoPostalCode entity provided contains the structure for the geographical data. You import it by calling either

# in a shell (run `bin/console` instead of `app/console` if your project is based on Symfony 3)
php app/console doctrine:migrations:diff
php app/console doctrine:migrations:migrate


# in a shell (run `bin/console` instead of `app/console` if your project is based on Symfony 3)
php app/console doctrine:schema:update

or however you like.

Import the geographical data

This is probably the most annoying step: Storing all postal codes with their geographical positions for the countries you need. Fortunately, it's not that hard to get this information and import it into your database.

Go to and download the archives for the countries you need. Let's just take Unzip the included DE.txt file, e.g. to /tmp/DE.txt.

Create a fixture class (in a separate folder to be able to load only this one) which extends the provided base class:

// MyCompany/MyBundle/Doctrine/Fixtures/CraueGeo/MyGeonamesPostalCodeData.php
namespace MyCompany\MyBundle\Doctrine\Fixtures\CraueGeo;

use Craue\GeoBundle\Doctrine\Fixtures\GeonamesPostalCodeData;
use Doctrine\Common\Persistence\ObjectManager;

class MyGeonamesPostalCodeData extends GeonamesPostalCodeData {

    public function load(ObjectManager $manager) {
        $this->addEntries($manager, '/tmp/DE.txt');


Now, backup your database! Don't blame anyone else for data loss if something goes wrong. Then import the fixture and remember to use the --append parameter.

# in a shell (run `bin/console` instead of `app/console` if your project is based on Symfony 3)
php app/console doctrine:fixtures:load --append --fixtures="src/MyCompany/MyBundle/Doctrine/Fixtures/CraueGeo"

That's it. Of course you can use other data sources you have access to, and write a custom fixture to import it.

If you have out of memory issues when importing a large number of entries try adding the --no-debug switch to avoid logging every single Doctrine query.


Let's say you have an entity Poi containing countries and postal codes. Now you wish to find all entities within a specific geographical distance with a radius of $radiusInKm from a given postal code $postalCode in country $country, and order them by distance.

// example values which could come from a form, remember to validate/sanitize them first
$country = 'DE';
$postalCode = '10115';
$radiusInKm = 10;

// create a query builder
$queryBuilder = $this->getDoctrine()->getEntityManager()

// build the query
    ->select('poi, GEO_DISTANCE_BY_POSTAL_CODE(:country, :postalCode,, poi.postalCode) AS HIDDEN distance')
    ->having('distance <= :radius')
    ->setParameter('country', $country)
    ->setParameter('postalCode', $postalCode)
    ->setParameter('radius', $radiusInKm)

The HIDDEN keyword is available as of Doctrine 2.2.

Advanced stuff

Avoid creating the postal code table

If you want to avoid registering the GeoPostalCode entity (and as a result, avoid creating the craue_geo_postalcode table) at all, add

# in app/config/config.yml
  enable_postal_code_entity: false

to your configuration.

Use custom names for the Doctrine functions

If you don't like the default names or need to avoid conflicts with other functions, you can set custom names:

# in app/config/config.yml
    geo_distance_by_postal_code: MY_VERY_OWN_GEO_DISTANCE_BY_POSTAL_CODE_FUNCTION