GeoTools re-visited

GeoTools-250Remember our first release of GeoTools? Libertus Solutions are delighted to announce the release of a completely re-written GIS (Geographical Information System) extension module for the soon-to-be-released vtiger 6.1.0.

This new version of GeoTools integrates services from OpenStreetMap with whatever business data is configured and available in your CRM application.


One of the big changes in the forthcoming 6.1.0 release of vtiger is a brand new integrated Extension Store feature that makes it simple for users to install and manage new extension modules for their vtiger installation:

  • 1 Click install of commercial or free applications
  • Confidence that apps are verified by vtiger before publication
  • Contact information of publisher is immediately available
  • See and contribute Ratings and Reviews of extensions

GeoTools is the first new extension module to be approved and published in vtiger’s new Marketplace and offers a host of new features that take full advantage of the new MVC architecture of vtiger 6.

  • Use existing search filters and geographic parameters simultaneously in search results
  • Manually update the location coordinates of records when they have not been Geocoded correctly by drag & drop
  • Drag & drop the radius centre to re-calculate distance searches instantly
  • Automatically detect the users actual location for an instant “any Leads nearby?” type enquiry
  • Arbitrary manual address entry for on-the-fly geocoding
  • Ability to add records directly to the Geocoding database cache using drag & drop

The techy bit

This version of GeoTools has been totally re-written from the ground up. We fixed a few bad design decisions that kind of “just happened” in the first version and have re-architected the internal Geocoding and Tile service APIs so these are now vendor agnostic. In the first GeoTools release we used the Google Maps API for both Tile and Geocoding services but these are now subject to terms & conditions which are probably not appropriate for the majority of businesses that would wish to use GeoTools. Consequently, this release now uses services from OpenStreetMap but other services from commercial vendors could just as easily be supported too; such as Google or MapQuest or MapBox.

We used the amazing Leaflet JS library to handle the majority of the mapping user interface. It’s a pleasure to use, well documented and is highly featured.

GeoTools is Open Source Software. We decided however to sell the extension via vtiger’s Marketplace for a nominal fee as we have spent considerable effort developing this product and believe it represents great value for money. Installation from the vtiger marketplace is a 1-click affair and we will provide support to paying customers. The GeoTools code will be available shortly on the vtiger forge but users will be on their own in terms of installation and support.

There isn’t a straightforward upgrade path between the version of GeoTools for vtiger 5.4.0 and this release unfortunately, although it should be possible to do for customers who have a large amount of data they’d rather not have to re-geocode. If you are interested in migrating please contact Libertus Solutions directly.

There will be a video showing GeoTools for vtiger 6.1.0 coming soon 🙂

UPDATE: There is now a demo system available here: Login with a username and password of GeoTools. (This demo database is dropped and restored every 4 hours)

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  • David says:

    Great news, I’m looking forward to try this out.
    I’m a outside sales person and my main job is visiting customers, I can realy see the benefit of this tool.
    I’m new to Vtiger, before I used BCM but this tool is to limited and became way to slow when using it with 30+ users on our server.

    Now I started with Vtiger, have it running on my local machine. So far so good!
    Some questions about geotools:
    On the marketplace I read the following; “Your data will be transmitted to for Geocoding purposes”.
    * We are very strict about using company data on the internet. Can you explain what data is transmitted to openstreetmap and is this protected in any way? Who can access this data? > I have a lot of important customer data in Vtiger and this should be protected.

    *As I mentioned I now use Vtiger on a local machine, will geotools work in this setup? And will I be able to transfer this later to our server with 30+ users? > need only one purchase of geotools?

    Are you going to release a test version? Reading the PDF on the marketplace gave my the impression that geocoding can go wrong, having a trial version would be good to learn if our data and openstreetmap are compatible.


    • Alan Lord says:

      Hi David, thanks for your comments.

      When you configure GeoTools, you specify which fields in each module represent address data, e.g. street, city, postcode etc… It is this information that is transmitted to the Geocoding provider (an aggregation of each record’s address a bit like “street,city,state,zip,country”). A successful response contains the latitude and longitude coordinates of the address.

      I’ve asked the vtiger developers about moving vtiger extensions once they have been purchased/installed via the Marketplace. I’ll let you know as soon as I know the answer. I suspect it will be OK but I want to confirm first.

      We will set up a demo version somewhere in the near future.

      As for Geocoding, yes it is not an exact science. We have however, added tools in this version of GeoTools that will let you modify the location of a record if it is incorrectly Geocoded, or you can manually add records to the GeoTools database and locate them, simply by dragging and dropping the marker on the map.

    • Alan Lord says:

      @David, Just had a reply from the vtiger developers.

      The way the Marketplace works currently, you can move your vtiger system (code & database) from one system to another.

  • David says:

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for the detailed answers!
    I’m looking forward to using this tool.
    I see that you have a demo system available, login is with a geotools password. How do I get this?


    • Alan Lord says:

      Sorry @David, forgot to mention that… The Username & Password are both: GeoTools

      • David says:

        Hi Allen,

        Ok thanks, got it working now.
        Works very good! This would certainly be a big help in my daily work.
        However some more questions:
        * Can I see more then 20 entries on the map at the same time > select all (+500) customers in a country and see them all on the same map? Would be nice to see the geographic concentration of our customers in a certain area. Perfect for deciding what trade show to book… and much more
        * Can I see the map full screen?
        * Can I select a customer in the organizations module and press search close by organizations? I can’t find this action in the demo? This was demonstrated with an older geotools overview movie

        Great work!

        • Alan Lord says:

          @David Thanks for the feedback.

          * It will only display the same number of markers on the map as are shown in the ListView. The maximum number of items per page figure is configurable in the CRM settings area. I’m not sure what the highest number is but I just tried it with 50 and that was OK. Performance may suffer if you make it too high…
          * A Full screen map is something we discussed briefly during development but we have not yet implemented. We may try and achieve this in a future update by way of a separate popup window of some kind.
          * Yes. In the Module Configuration area for GeoTools, you can create multiple “Action links” which will perform radius searches based on the record you are currently viewing. You can also choose which target module to search. See the manual for more details

          Thank you again.

  • David says:


    Thanks for the fast response!
    I see the list view of 50 in the demo database. This will be more then enough for 99% of the time.
    A separate map popup would be perfect if you can set it to full screen.


  • Morris says:


    i can’t find GeoTools in marketplace for vtiger 6.0 . How can I do ?

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