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GeoKey is a platform for participatory mapping, that is developed by Extreme Citizen Science research group at University College London.

Install with Docker

Download and install Docker CE for your platform. This will include the docker-compose command used below. (Note that when using Ubuntu, most of these commands need to be run as root or prefixed with sudo).

  1. Pull and extract relevant images, build the GeoKey application container:
docker-compose up --build
  1. In another terminal window migrate the database:
docker-compose exec geokey python migrate
  1. Run the collectstatic management command:
docker-compose exec geokey python collectstatic --noinput
  1. Finally run the server:
docker-compose exec geokey python runserver

If everything went well, there should be a GeoKey instance available on your system at http://localhost:9000.

For development purposes, the source code is also mounted as a volume in the geokey container, which means that changes made to the source code on the host machine are reflected in the container.

In order for Grunt to compile the Handlebars templates within the container, in a new terminal window run:

docker-compose exec geokey npm run grunt

Install for development

Updated documentation: The following link will direct you to the updated guide that aims to install GeoKey on a cloud server running on a Ubuntu machine, specifically version 18.04 that will be supported until 2028. This documentation aims to simplify the processes as much as possible to make it suitable for everyone including non-technical people not familiar with Python / Linux environment but keen on running GeoKey on their own cloud servers.

For advanced users, please follow below.

GeoKey can be run on Python 2.7 or Python 3 (Geokey 1.8 onwards).

  1. Update your system:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  1. Install PostgreSQL and PostGIS (we follow the official guides):
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb wheezy-pgdg main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list'
wget --quiet -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.4-postgis-2.1 postgresql-contrib postgresql-server-dev-9.4

Note that for Ubuntu 16.04, you don't need to add the repo and can install 9.5:

sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.5-postgis-2.2 postgresql-contrib postgresql-server-dev-9.5
  1. Setup all other dependencies:
sudo apt-get install python-pip python-virtualenv python-dev libjpeg-dev libmagickcore-dev libmagickwand-dev imagemagick binutils libproj-dev libav-tools gdal-bin python-gdal
  1. Change ImageMagick permissions for it to be able to write:

    sed -i 's/(<policy domain="coder" rights=)"none" (pattern="PDF" />)/1"read|write"2/g' /etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml

For Ubuntu you might also need to install libavcodec-extra-52 or libavcodec-extra-53.

For Ubuntu 18.04 you may have to use the following advice if installing libav-tools doesn't work and you can't find avconv.

Setup database

  1. For simplicity, switch to user postgres:
sudo su - postgres
  1. Install PostGIS in template1 (required for running tests):
psql -d template1 -c 'create extension hstore;'
  1. Log in to the database:
  1. Create the user (replace django with your user):
postgres=# CREATE USER django WITH PASSWORD 'django123';
  1. Make created user a superuser on your database (this is required for tests only and shouldn't be done in production):
postgres=# ALTER ROLE django WITH superuser;
  1. Create the database (replace django with your user and geokey with a desired name for the database):
postgres=# CREATE DATABASE geokey OWNER django;
  1. Log out and connect to the database:
postgres=# \q
psql -d geokey
  1. Install the required extensions:
geokey=# CREATE EXTENSION postgis;
geokey=# CREATE EXTENSION hstore;
  1. Log out of the database and a user:
geokey=# \q

Setup GeoKey

  1. Clone the repository:
git clone
  1. Install the package and development requirements:
cd geokey
pip install -e .
pip install -r requirements.txt
pip install -r requirements-dev.txt

You may need to add sudo before the pip commands, unless you are logged in as root or working within a virtual environment.

  1. Copy the directory local_settings.example to local_settings
cp -r local_settings.example local_settings
  1. Inside the local_settings open in a text editor and...

Add your database settings:

    'default': {
        'ENGINE': 'django.contrib.gis.db.backends.postgis',
        'NAME': 'geokey',
        'USER': 'django',
        'PASSWORD': 'xxxxxxxxx',
        'HOST': 'host',  # usually 'localhost'
        'PORT': ''

Set the secret key:

SECRET_KEY = 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'

Set the STATIC_ROOT directory:

STATIC_ROOT = '/some/path/'
  1. Migrate the database:
python migrate
  1. Add yourself as a superuser (you can use the same email and password to log into the system later):
python createsuperuser
  1. Run the collectstatic management command:
python collectstatic

Run the test server

python runserver

Run tests

python test

Running tests will remove all uploaded images of contributions from the assets directory. If you require to keep them, please use custom test settings with a --settings flag.

We use open-source technologies

GeoKey was built using some amazing open-source technology. We would like to thank all contributors to these projects: