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GeoTools Logo
Developer(s) OpenGeo, GeoSolutions, Refractions Research, LISAsoft
Stable release 8.6[1] / January 22, 2013; 2 years ago (2013-01-22)
Development status Active
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Type GIS toolkit
License LGPL

GeoTools is a free software (LGPL) GIS toolkit for developing standards compliant solutions. It provides an implementation of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) specifications as they are developed. GeoTools is a contributor to the GeoAPI project - a vendor-neutral set of Java interfaces derived from OGC specifications - and implements a subset of those.

It is written in Java and currently is under active development. It is used by GeoServer, uDig, Geopublisher, 52N, Geomajas and many proprietary projects.


GeoTools 1 began in 1996 at the University of Leeds as part of a Masters project.[2] It aimed to provide a toolkit of resources to enable the creation of interactive geographic visualization clients. GeoTools 1 was built using the Java 1.1 environment to enable the execution of applets on a wide range of clients without the need for a plug in. It was developed in a rather ad hoc manner, with new features being added as needed. GeoTools 1 was not built with any standards in mind.

GeoTools 2 began in 2002. It was a rewrite from scratch with contributions by an international group of developers. The code base has been fundamentally redesigned to take advantage of the latest Java platform and to follow OGC specifications.

GeoTools since GeoTools 1 is no longer maintained, the "2" in "GeoTools 2" was dropped in 2007 and the project name became GeoTools. The version number followed suit in 2011 with the scheduled release of "GeoTools" version 8.


Geotools and GeotoolsMT are also the copyrighted names of a suite of American written and owned software specifically for processing and displaying magnetotelluric data (MT data). This software dates from the late 1980s and is still actively sold by its parent company AOA Geophysics Inc. which is itself now a part of Fugro Geoconsulting Inc. Geotools is currently being updated and will be relaunched early in 2012 as Geotools MT.

Core Features[edit]

GeoTools library supports the following core features:[3]

  • Interfaces for spatial concepts and data structures;
  • JTS Topology Suite Geometry;
  • Attribute, Spatial and Temporal filters matching the OGC Filter specification;
  • Decoding technology (with bindings for manyGML, Filter, KML, SLD, and SE and other OGC standards).

The GeoTools library forms a stack for the core modules; with additional plugins available to support additional formats, extensions and integration options.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ GeoTools downloads
  2. ^ "GeoTools history". 
  3. ^ Garnett, Jody. "GeoTools User Guide". Open Source Geospatial Foundation. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 

External links[edit]