ToolMap is a free, open-source digitisation software (available at designed to produce complex vector GIS maps. It facilitates the production of datasets in various fields, particularly for vectorising geological maps or natural hazard maps. Its unique approach, combined with integrated validation tools, guarantees topologically consistent datasets.

ToolMap has been developed in collaboration with the Swiss National Geological Survey of the Swiss Federal Office of Topography swisstopo. It has been tried and tested in the production of the 1:25’000 Geological Atlas of Switzerland and other smaller-scale projects, demonstrating its adaptability to the production of a variety of maps, regardless of size, scale, complexity or theme. ToolMap offers a high degree of versatility for a wide range of geoscience disciplines.

Its main features include:

  • A unique digitisation method enabling the creation of complex multi-layer vector products without topological errors
  • A versatile relational database for managing geospatial data (geometry and attributes)
  • A GIS engine with tools for editing, geoprocessing and validating data according to topological and semantic rules


Digitisation and editing

Digitisation in ToolMap is carried out in three main layers: lines, points and labels. Polygons are generated automatically when the data is exported, by combining the lines with the labels. This approach enables geological maps to be edited efficiently and accurately, while maintaining the topological consistency of the data.

Flexible spatial data model

ToolMap uses a relational spatial data model to structure and organise information in a consistent way. This data model is configurable and can be adapted to various types of mapping projects, guaranteeing the flexibility and accuracy of the maps produced.

Integrated validation

ToolMap integrates data validation tools that ensure the topological and semantic consistency of the datasets produced. These tools enable potential errors to be checked and corrected, guaranteeing the quality and reliability of digital maps.

Export to standard file formats

ToolMap results can be exported as shapefiles, compatible with all standard GIS software. This compatibility of exported files means that data can be easily used and integrated into a variety of geospatial systems and applications.

Open-source and multi-platform

ToolMap is an open source software package available on several platforms (Windows and Mac), offering greater accessibility and adaptability for users in different technical environments.

Proven usability

ToolMap has been successfully tested in the production of the 1:25'000 Geological Atlas of Switzerland, as well as in other smaller-scale projects, such as natural hazard maps. These tests demonstrated the software's effectiveness in producing accurate, detailed maps, regardless of the size, scale or complexity of the project.


Useful links

User manual:
Source code:

Scientific reference

Strasky, S., Vandelli, A., Schreiber, L., Sartori, M., Ornstein, P., and Möri, A.: TOOLMAP2 – a powerful tool for digital mapping, Swiss Bulletin for Applied Geology, 16, 87–95, 2011.