OpenJUMP Quickstart

OpenJUMP is a desktop GIS program that allows for easy viewing and editing of vector GIS data. It also has limited support for the viewing of raster data.

This Quick Start describes how to:

  • Open an ESRI shapefile with OpenJUMP.
  • Style the layer created from the shapefile for easier viewing.
  • Edit the geometries of the features in the layer.
  • Run a simple attribute query on the features in the layer.

Starting OpenJUMP

To start OpenJUMP, simply double click the openjump.bat file (if your are using a computer with a Microsoft Windows operating system) or the file (if you are using a computer with a Linux operating system) in the bin folder of OpenJUMP install folder. (Please note: A Java runtime environment is required to run OpenJUMP. You can download a Java runtime environment for your computer here:

Basic User Interface Overview

The OpenJUMP graphical interface has four (4) basic components. The first is a top-level menu bar. The second is a main toolbar that sits just below the menu bar. The third is a tree view that shows all of the layers displayed in the current map view. This is called the layer list. The fourth is the layer view. This is the actual map where a graphical representatio of the spatial data in each layer is displayed. Each layer list and layer view are contained as a pair in a task frame or project frame. Each instance of OpenJUMP can contain multiple task frames. In our quick start, we will only be working with a single task frame.

Open an ESRI Shapefile

This section of the quick start briefly explains how to open an ESRI shapefile.

On the top-level menu bar in Open Jump select the File menu. Then select the Open menu item. This will present you with a dialog box that allows you to open files containing geospatial data. In our example, you want to browse for an ESRI shapefile. Look for a file with the .shp extension. Select the file and click the open button on the dialog. After a few moments, you will be able to see the data from your shapefile in the Layer View. You will also see a new layer created for your data in the Layer List. The name of the layer will match the name of the shapefile.

Style a Layer

This section of the quick start briefly explains how to style a layer.

In the Layer List, right click on the layer name. This will show a pop-up menu. Select the Change Styles menu itme from this pop-up menu. The Change Styles dialog has four (4) tabs that allow you to change how the layer is displayed at the Layer View. This includes changing stroke color, changing fill color, chainging stroke or fill transparency, adding labels, and determining at which maximum and minimum scales the layer is displayed at.

Edit Feature Geometries in a Layer

This section of the quick start briefly explains how to edit feature geometry for features in a layer.

In the Layer List, right click on the layer name. This will show a pop-up menu. Check the box next to the Editable menu entry. This will open a new floating toolbar over the Layer View. This toolbar has a set of toolbar buttons that you can use to edit feature geometry.

Let’s try a quick edit. First, click the button that shows a mouse cursor. Use it to click on and select a single feature in the Layer View. It should change to yellow and show small yellow squares at each node or angle point in the feature geometry. As an example, click on the button that shows a blue crosshair with a yellow square in the middle. You should now see your mouse cursor change to a small black corsshair when you move it over the Layer View. Try using it to move the node on the geometry you selected.

Other Learning Resources for OpenJUMP

This is only the first step on the road to using OpenJUMP. There is a lot more great material (and ability) left for your to discover in our walkthroughs.

You can download the user guide for the original JUMP program here:

You can read the OpenJUMP wiki here:

You can download tutorials for OpenJUMP here:

You can get help with OpenJUMP on the OpenJUMP users mailing list:

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