Spatialite and rasterlite on OSX

Spatialite and rasterlite are libraries for SQLite, a small database system that works from single files. SQLite databases are very easy to administer and share, and are read natively by QGIS without any need for configuring drivers and passwords! These two libraries let you add spatial capabilities to SQLite.

If you’re already using QGIS (and you should be!) then you’ve already got SQLite installed.


Installing spatialite and rasterlite is done by compiling the source code from the spatialite homepage … but as that can be really annoying, Homebrew is your friend here; see my page on installing and using it.

Installing spatialite + rasterlite libraries

To install:

brew install libspatialite
brew install spatialite-tools
brew install librasterlite

GUI tools

There are two great tools for viewing and administering SQlite / spatialite databases – one is even a basic GIS package! See this link for binary downloads (ready-to-use applications).

  • Spatialite-gui – create and manage sqlite databases with spatialite support, do queries.
  • Spatialite-gis – view data in the database (change basic appearance / turn layers off and on).