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Location Data from Props

What is location data

Sometimes it can be helpful to know exactly what your app’s browser URL is at any given stage. Because Gatsby uses @reach/router for client-side routing, the location prop is passed to any page component and represents where the app is currently, where you’d like it to go, and other helpful information. The location object is never mutated but reach@router makes it helpful to determine when navigation happens. Here is a sample props.location:

  key: 'ac3df4', // does not populate with a HashHistory!
  pathname: '/somepage',
  search: '?someurlparam=valuestring1&anotherurlparam=valuestring2',
  hash: '#about',
  state: {
    [userDefined]: true

Note that you have to parse the search field (the query string) into individual keys and values yourself.


Using hash in JavaScript is one way to update the browser URL and the DOM without having the browser do a full HTML page reload. HashHistory in @reach/router is used to track browser history with JavaScript when using hashrouter instead of browserrouter which uses the newer HTML5 history API.

Use cases

Through client-side routing in Gatsby you can provide a location object instead of strings, which are helpful in a number of situations:

  • Providing state to linked components
  • Client-only routes
  • Fetching data
  • Animation transitions
// usually you'd do this
<Link to="/somepagecomponent"/>

// but if you want to add some additional state
  state={{modal: true}}

Then from the receiving component you can conditionally render markup based on the location state.

const SomePageComponent = ({ location }) => {
  const { state = {} } = location
  const { modal } = state
  return modal ? (
    <dialog className="modal">I'm a modal of Some Page Component!</dialog>
  ) : (
    <div>Welcome to the Some Page Component!</div>

Other resources

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