I know programming in Java and I am familiar with GIS concepts as well. I do GIS programming using javascript and PHP. I want to now do it using Java. How should I go about it? PLease let me know where I should begin with? Links to tutorials or simple Java based GIS project works will really be appreciated!

  • 5
    This question is too vague and you should work on being more specific, but you might be interested in this book: @book{wood2002java, title={{Java programming for spatial sciences}}, author={Wood, J.}, isbn={0415260981}, year={2002}, publisher={CRC} }
    – mdsumner
    Dec 7, 2010 at 8:56
  • 2
    OT: Bibtex; I approve! Would be nice if it was baked into the formatting + auto-linkifying here.
    – Dan S.
    Dec 7, 2010 at 17:14
  • Could you elaborate on whether you are interested in web-based GIS applications or non-web based?
    – djq
    Jan 17, 2011 at 13:27

6 Answers 6


Why not take a look at the open source projects out there.

Take a look at the source code, choose one or many of them and join the projects :-)

A few examples:

GVSig with both desktop GIS, mobile version and mini version for phones http://www.gvsig.org/web/home/gvsig-home/view?set_language=en

JTS, Java Topology Suite (I think it means) http://www.vividsolutions.com/jts/jtshome.htm

Another desktop GIS http://openjump.org/

GeoServer, generating web-mapping services (website seems to be down right now) http://geoserver.org

and so on....

  • despite what Google claims the JTS home page is at tsusiatsoftware.net/jts/main.html
    – Ian Turton
    Dec 7, 2010 at 16:35
  • ok, you are right, I just googled. But the download link in my link seems more alive. but the svn repository seems to be linked from your link. hmm Dec 7, 2010 at 18:26
  • But that download is 1.8 and while the latest is 1.11
    – Ian Turton
    Dec 7, 2010 at 18:57

Widely used opensource GIS java libraries are GeoToolkit : http://www.geotoolkit.org/ and GeoTools (osgeo) : http://www.geotools.org/

An example of an application based on GeoToolkit : https://github.com/codehaus/puzzle-gis


Sextante might be of interest to you.


Here is some information from ESRI on how to develop GIS applications with Java:


For Java EE developers, Esri offers the Web ADF for the Java platform, a Java web framework that extends the JavaServer Faces (JSF) specification.


  • Be aware though that the web ADF has been deprecated at 10.1. The ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Java or ArcGIS Server Object Extensions are the routes to use at 10.1, but documentation is still scarce right now. Aug 21, 2012 at 15:31

See also the Java Topology Suite (on sourceforge).


Geomajas is another open source project for building Java based web applications. It uses GWT to allow you to do everything in Java. There is a learning curve as it expects maven and spring knowledge, but it includes many goodies for your application (e.g. caching, printing,...) thanks to the many plug-ins.

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