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array.flatMap

The flatMap() method returns a new array formed by applying a given callback function to each element of the array, and then flattening the result by one level. It is identical to a map() followed by a flat() of depth 1, but slightly more efficient than calling those two methods separately.

Syntax

var new_array = arr.flatMap(function callback(currentValue[, index[, array]]) {
    // return element for new_array
}[, thisArg])

Parameters

callback
Function that produces an element of the new Array, taking three arguments:
currentValue
The current element being processed in the array.
indexOptional
The index of the current element being processed in the array.
arrayOptional
The array map was called upon.
thisArgOptional
Value to use as this when executing callback.

Return value

A new array with each element being the result of the callback function and flattened to a depth of 1.

Description

See Array.prototype.map() for a detailed description of the callback function. The flatMap method is identical to a map followed by a call to flat of depth 1.

Alternative

reduce() and concat()

var arr = [1, 2, 3, 4];

arr.flatMap(x => [x, x * 2]);
// is equivalent to
arr.reduce((acc, x) => acc.concat([x, x * 2]), []);
// [1, 2, 2, 4, 3, 6, 4, 8]

Note, however, that this is inefficient and should be avoided for large arrays: in each iteration, it creates a new temporary array that must be garbage-collected, and it copies elements from the current accumulator array into a new array instead of just adding the new elements to the existing array.

Examples

map() and flatMap()

let arr1 = [1, 2, 3, 4];

arr1.map(x => [x * 2]); 
// [[2], [4], [6], [8]]

arr1.flatMap(x => [x * 2]);
// [2, 4, 6, 8]

// only one level is flattened
arr1.flatMap(x => [[x * 2]]);
// [[2], [4], [6], [8]]

While the above could have been achieved by using map itself, here is an example that better showcases the use of flatMap.

Let's generate a list of words from a list of sentences.

let arr1 = ["it's Sunny in", "", "California"];

arr1.map(x => x.split(" "));
// [["it's","Sunny","in"],[""],["California"]]

arr1.flatMap(x => x.split(" "));
// ["it's","Sunny","in", "", "California"]

Notice, the output list length can be different from the input list length.

For adding and removing items during a map()

flatMap can be used as a way to add and remove items (modify the number of items) during a map. In other words, it allows you to map many items to many items (by handling each input item separately), rather than always one-to-one. In this sense, it works like the opposite of filter. Simply return a 1-element array to keep the item, a multiple-element array to add items, or a 0-element array to remove the item.

// Let's say we want to remove all the negative numbers
// and split the odd numbers into an even number and a 1
let a = [5, 4, -3, 20, 17, -33, -4, 18]
//       |\  \  x   |  | \   x   x   |
//      [4,1, 4,   20, 16, 1,       18]

a.flatMap( (n) =>
  (n < 0) ?      [] :
  (n % 2 == 0) ? [n] :
                 [n-1, 1]
)

// expected output: [4, 1, 4, 20, 16, 1, 18]

Specifications

Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Desktop
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
flatMap 69 79 62 No 56 12
Mobile
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
flatMap 69 69 62 48 12 10.0
Server
Node.js
flatMap 11.0.0

See also

© 2005–2018 Mozilla Developer Network and individual contributors.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.
https://wiki.developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/Array/flatMap