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Location settings allow you to configure default settings for your site such as timezone, country, and date. These will be the default settings applied to any new user, although they can change them if they want to (unless you decide to force the same timezone on all users). 

Most of the below options will only need setting during initial implementation.

Location settings

Location settings can be found via Quick-access menu > Location > Location settings.

General location settings

SettingDescriptionNotes
Default timezoneThis is the default timezone for displaying dates, although each user can override this setting in their profile. Cron tasks and other server settings are specified in this timezone. You should change the setting if it shows as Invalid timezone.-
Force timezoneYou can allow users to individually select their timezone, or force a timezone for everyone. -
CSV Import date format

Date format to be used in CSV imports like user uploads with date custom profile fields, or HR Import. The date format should be compatible with the formats defined in the PHP DateTime class. Below are some example for the 21st March 2017:

  • d/m/Y: Would appear as 21/03/2017.
  • d/m/y: Would appear as 21/03/17.  
  • m/d/Y: Would appear in US form e.g. 03/21/2017.
  • Y-m-d: Would appear in ISO form e.g. 2017-03-21.
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Default countryThe country entered here will be used by default on new user accounts unless an alternative country has been provided. To force users to choose a country, just leave this unset.-
Default cityA city entered here will be the default city when creating new user accounts unless an alternative has been provided.  A user's city can be changed from the default if required.-

Location settings screen displaying available settings as described above.

IP address lookup

By default Totara uses the free online NetGeo (The Internet Geographic Database) server to lookup location of IP addresses, unfortunately this database is not maintained anymore and may return wildly incorrect data. It is recommended to install local copy of free GeoLite City database from MaxMind.

IP address location is displayed on simple map or using Google Maps. Please note that you need to have a Google account and apply for free Google Maps API key to enable interactive maps.

SettingDescriptionNotes
GeoIP City data fileSetting executable and local paths disabled in config.php. Location of GeoIP City binary data file. This file is not part of Totara distribution and must be obtained separately from MaxMind. You can either buy a commercial version or use the free version. Simply download http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoLiteCity.dat.gz and extract it into /var/www/data/prototype/geoip/ directory on your server.-
All country codesThis is the list of countries that may be selected in various places, for example in a user's profile. If blank (the default) the list in countries.php in the standard English language pack is used. That is the list from ISO 3166-1 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1#Current_codes). Otherwise, you can specify a comma-separated list of codes, for example GB,FR,ES. If you add new, non-standard codes here, you will need to add them to countries.php in en and your language pack.-

Google Maps

If you use Google Map features within Totara we strongly recommend that you read and agree to the Google Maps JavaScript API Terms of Service and generate a Google Maps JavaScript API key for use within your site.

You will need to ensure you have set-up billing in order to use the Google maps API.

SettingDescriptionNotes
Google Maps Javascript API key

Information on obtaining a key can be found at https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/javascript/get-api-key. Please refer to the Google Maps JavaScript API Terms of Service for permitted use. For help understanding the Terms of Service refer to the Terms of Service FAQ's. If you have purchased a Premium Plan then please put your Client ID into the API key setting, Totara will recognise this as Client ID and treat it as such. Totara currently uses the Google Maps JavaScript API in the following locations:

  • Location custom fields
  • IP Address lookup visualisation within the site log reports


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Google Maps address returns results influenced by your region/country. For example, searches for "San Francisco" may return different results if sent from a domain within the United States than one sent from Spain. This should be the ISO 3166-1 code for the appropriate region/country.-
If empty, map text will be displayed using the user's browser's language. Set this setting to force all users to see map text in the specified language. Visit https://developers.google.com/maps/faq#languagesupport for a list of supported languages.-
Default zoom levelSets the initial zoom level of the map. Accepted values range from 0 (the whole world) to 21 (individual buildings). The upper limit can vary depending on the map data available at the selected location.-

Check user timezones

User Timezone settings can be found under Quick-access menu > Location > Check User Timezones

This tool checks the timezones specified in the profiles of your users. In order for timezones to work correctly a location-based timezone should be specified, e.g. America/New_York, Europe/London, Asia/Singapore. Some timezone abbreviations (e.g. CET, EST) and UTC offsets (e.g +/-4.5) will not calculate Daylight Savings changes correctly.

This tool will allow you to change unsupported timezones to an approved format if required.

Totara Academy

The Totara Academy has a course dedicated to Localisation in Totara. Here you can learn more on how to localise your system, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.




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