Geotools focuses on being a Java code library, not an application. The library provides methods to manipulate geospatial data. While the library facilitates the creation of maps, by default, Geotools provides almost no Graphical User Interface (GUI) functionality since the library can be used for servers on the World Wide Web, as in Geoserver, or for desktop applications, for example UDig. The LGPL license is flexible enough for Geotools to be used to create both open source and commercial applications.
This page, and the sections below, attempt to provide documentation for new users. Unfortunately, this older documentation is a mess, mixing code examples from various different releases. The Geotools team is working on a Users' Manual which will present things more systematically.
GeoTools code is built using the latest Java tools and environments (1.4.2) and will continue to leverage the capabilities of future Java environments and official extensions when the technologies have been through the first maintenance cycle (i.e. version 5.x.1).
The user guide is a work in progress which will be the primary documentation going forward.
The Example application used for the FOSS4G Presentation provides a quick overview of the library and includes source code:
Please note that much of our documentation is targeted towards GeoTools 2.0 and Geotools2.1, we would love some help updating these examples.