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mongoose populate within an object

mongoose populate within an object  using -'node.js,mongoose'

I'm not sure how to populate the sample schema below or if it is even possible.  Can a reference be within an object like below?  If you can, how would you populate it?  E.g. .populate('map_data.location');?  

var sampleSchema = new Schema({
  name: String,
  map_data: [{
    location: {type: Schema.Types.ObjectId, ref: 'location'},
    count: Number

Or will I have to have two separate arrays for location and count like so:

// Locations and counts should act as one object. They should
// Be synced together perfectly.  E.g. locations[i] correlates to counts[i]
locations: [{ type: Schema.Types.ObjectId, ref: 'location'}],
counts: [Number]

I feel like the first solution would be the best, but I'm not entirely sure how to get it working within Mongoose.

Thank you very much for any help!

asked Sep 18, 2015 by abhi
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1 Answer

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The first solution is possible.

Mongoose currently has limitations (see this ticket here) populating multiple levels of embedded documents, however is very good at understanding nested paths within a single document - what you're after in this case.

Example syntax would be:


Other features, such as specifying getters / setters on paths, orderBy and where clauses, etc. also accept a nested paths, like this example from the docs:

personSchema.virtual('name.full').get(function () {
  return + ' ' +;

Internally Mongoose splits the string at the dots and sorts everything out for you.

answered Sep 18, 2015 by shikhar jain