Adding a Polygon Search to CFMongoDB

Written by Sean Ryan on . Posted in App Dev

CFMongoDB rocks my socks…when I need to use ColdFusion.

I noticed that the CFMongoDB doesn’t natively support a polygon search 🙁 It’s ok though because I wrote one and as far as our team’s testing is concerned, it works.

I added a method to DBCollection.cfc directly under the find method called findWithin_Poly. It follows.


function findWithin_Poly(string loc, array poly){
  polyConverted = CreateObject("java","java.util.ArrayList").init(ArrayLen(poly));
  for ( i =1 ; i lte ArrayLen(poly) ; i++){
  polyObject = variables.mongoConfig.getMongoFactory()
              .getObject("com.mongodb.BasicDBObject").init("$polygon", polyConverted);
  within = variables.mongoConfig.getMongoFactory()
              .getObject("com.mongodb.BasicDBObject").init("$within", polyObject);
  query = variables.mongoConfig.getMongoFactory()
              .getObject("com.mongodb.BasicDBObject").init(loc, within);
  var search_results = [];
  search_results = collection.find(query);
  return createObject("component", "SearchResult").init( search_results, structNew(), mongoUtil );

As you can see, the process is very straight forward. I build up a BasicDBObject according to the Mongo Java API and call a slightly different find method on the Mongo collection.


The loc parameter is a string that represents the key of the document that holds the coordinates of the point. I used loc because that what I saw all over the documentation but it’s clear about not needing to be called loc.

The poly parameter is an array of arrays. Each element of the poly array is itself an array of exactly two elements: an x and a y. It represents a list of points which describe the boundaries of the polygon.


The format of the poly parameter is important – as is the data in the collection. CF will automatically make your array elements strings, but they need to be doubles – java doubles.

To do this, cast them with javacast(). See the example below.


poly = ArrayNew(1);
polyA = ArrayNew(1);
polyA[1] = javacast("double",3);
polyA[2] = javacast("double",3);
polyB = ArrayNew(1);
polyB[1] = javacast("double",8);
polyB[2] = javacast("double",3);
polyC = ArrayNew(1);
polyC[1] = javacast("double",6);
polyC[2] = javacast("double",7);

You would then use this to call the  findWithin_Poly function.

hits = people.findWithin_Poly("loc",poly);

Now, I haven’t done this yet, but I would recommend doing it: add a utility method that would cast all of the elements to double. Simple and reduces clutter.


Sean Ryan

Developer for Troy Web Consulting.