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Installing Mapnik on OS X with Homebrew

Install Homebrew

First, make sure you have homebrew installed

Then make sure homebrew is updated:

brew update

Install Options

Now you can either:

  • Install Mapnik itself with homebrew (which will automatically install all dependencies at the same time)
  • Install all Mapnik dependencies via homebrew and then Mapnik from source.

Understanding build options

To see the options available for the build do:

brew info mapnik

For instance you should see --with-cairo, --with-gdal, and --with-postgresql. Unless you supply --with-cairo Mapnik will not be built with Cairo rendering support. If you pass --with-gdal or --with-postgresql then Homebrew will automatically install these dependencies before building Mapnik. In order to work with a PostGIS Database you have to supply --with-postgresql (the formula only adds PG/GDAL support if stated explicitly: see formula)

brew install mapnik

Note that the current mapnik package in Homebrew is based on Mapnik 3 and does not include the Python bindings by default. To install the older Mapnik 2.2 package with Python bindings:

brew install homebrew/versions/mapnik2

pycairo support

If you want both cairo rendering support and the ability to work with cairo objects (and pass them to mapnik) in python do:

brew install py2cairo
brew install mapnik --with-cairo

To install the latest Mapnik release from Homebrew do:

brew install cairo --without-x --without-glib
brew install icu4c
brew link icu4c
brew install boost
brew install boost-python
brew install proj
brew install jpeg
brew link jpeg
brew install libtiff
brew install gdal --with-libtiff=/usr/local/lib
brew install ossp-uuid
brew install postgis
brew install harfbuzz
git clone
cd mapnik
make install

Note that on Lion, you need may to be more explicit about SQLite. Change version as needed.

 ./configure CXX="clang++" JOBS=`sysctl -n hw.ncpu` SQLITE_LIBS=/usr/local/Cellar/sqlite/3.7.12/lib/ SQLITE_INCLUDES=/usr/local/Cellar/sqlite/3.7.12/include/

Boost-Python Link Problems

After you install mapnik, you may try to import it and get Fatal Python error: Interpreter not initialized (version mismatch?). If so, you likely have boost linked with the wrong version of python. To see what version of python boost is linked from, try:

otool -L `brew list boost | grep python-mt.dylib` | grep -i python

It's likely that your copy of boost was linked against the system python, but you're trying to use a homebrew python. To fix, uninstall boost, and reinstall with --build-from-source:

brew uninstall boost
brew install --build-from-source boost

Building with Cairo

If you need Cairo and its Python bindings, install and link these (cairo and py2cairo) with homebrew as normal. Then, to build Mapnik from source with Cairo:

./configure CXX="clang++" JOBS=`sysctl -n hw.ncpu` CAIRO=True PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/X11/lib/pkgconfig
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