Week 3 Day 1




Before you start you want to ascertain what version of MacOS you are using:

  • OS X v10.0 (Cheetah)
  • OS X v10.1 (Puma)
  • OS X v10.2 (Jaguar)
  • OS X v10.3 (Panther)
  • OS X v10.4 (Tiger)
  • OS X v10.5 (Leopard)
  • OS X v10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  • OS X v10.7 (Lion)
  • OS X v10.8 (Mountain Lion)
  • OS X v10.9 (Mavericks)

Read Installing QGIS on the Mac by Caitlin Dempsey.

1. Go to the KyngChaos site.


2. We download the "frameworks" GDAL and GSL as .DMG files. Good practice is to download them into your "Downloads" folder.


2. Then find GDAL's .DMG file and double click it to start the installation.
3. Then we repeat this for GSL

4. After the files are downloaded we double click on the GDAL icon, either at the lower left of your browser window or via the Finder (that is, in your Downloads folder). The result should be a folder that looks like this:


NOTE: Have a look at the readme files - get in the habit of paying attention to these as sometimes they actually tell you something you need to know. Also, note several new words/terms here: UNIX, Python, SQL (structured query language), .pkg, and .rtf. Make sure you know what they mean.

Repeat this for GSL (which, BTW, stands for GNU Scientific Library (and GNU stands for "Gnu's Not Unix")). If all goes well you will arrive at:


Start QGIS.

Go to File > About QGIS.
Join the mailing list Qgis-user.

Initial Show and Tell

Start QGIS and add a vector layer to the current project. Select the census tract layer from SHP Library > SHP Files - Source > alameda-2010-tracts. And then add the alameda-2010-water layer.
Double click the water layer in the table of contents (or select it, right click, and select properties and then go to display properties). Click on the icon underneath the colored square to get to the fill and border dialog.
Tweak the display settings of both layers to produce a map with blue water and beige land area with tan census tract boundaries.

Acronyms and Terms to Learn

GDAL - Geospatial Data Abstraction Library
GUI - graphical user interface
plug-in - an optional part of the system that can be added to your installation to give it additional functionality. Sometimes it is GUI code written to provide easier access to a function otherwise only available from the command line.

File nameFile typeSize
CA.zipZip archive data64.31 MBInfo
Parcels.zipZip archive data28.38 MBInfo
qgis-tutorial-files.zipZip archive data16.8 MBInfo