Install QGIS on your Mac in a few easy steps

Taking the time to install QGIS, a free, open-source GIS application, on your Mac isn’t that bad, but compared to installing it on my Windows PC it was a few more steps than I expected. It was almost comical, really, because every time an installer would start, a drop down would pop up to say – oh, hey first you need to install this too!

Thus I’ve decided to provide a short list with links to the download locations of all the support files to help you through the process. I mean, tough to complain for freeware GIS really.

Downloads needed to install QGIS 2.2 on your Mac

Downloads needed to install QGIS 2.2 on your Mac

After downloading your QGIS package from their website – a surefire way to make sure you get the most recent 2.2 version as opposed to the outdated 1.8 version you’ll likely get from a third party download – you’ll notice the “readme” file in the set – which expressly states “This distribution requires my GDAL Complete 1.10 framework package, and the Matplotlib python module.” (On the downloads page “Matplotlib” is the 4th one down the list.)

The order to do the installations:

  1. FreeType Framework
  2. Python 3.3
  3. Matplotlib Python module
  4. GDAL Complete
  5. QGIS 2.2!
An extracted or "unpacked" dmg file.

An extracted or “unpacked” dmg file.

You will need to unpack each of the dmg files to access the “pkg” files which are the actual installers.

When you double click a “pkg” file you will invoke an installer wizard. This example shows the first window of the QGIS wizard, but QGIS will be the last installer you run (see the order to install all of your downloads below).

QGIS installer wizard

QGIS installer wizard

You also want to install Python 3.3, so download that as well. And finally, before installing “Matplotlib” you’ll need to install the “FreeType Framework.”

A final note – you can “eject” your installers when the installation is complete because Mac recognizes them as devices.

Eject installer when process is complete.

Eject installer when process is complete.

Margaret Spyker

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