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Created Jan 12, 2016
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Things to download etc in advance of CMU mapping workshop 1/17/16

Quick note on install methods

My instructions for this are based around working with a Mac. I haven't had to set this up for a Linux environment but for a lot of these things where I'm using the brew install method you should be able to apt-get or yum install these libraries (please please let me know if/where you hit snags). Windows users: I cannot help you. I am sorry.

I am a fan of using Homebrew ( to install packages and libraries on a Mac because it streamlines things nicely and makes it easier to keep track of and update versions of things. If you've never used it before and don't want this to be your introduction to it, this is also fine--this is an intro to mapping workshop, not How To Make Your Development Environment Like Ingrid's workshop.

In general actually just let me know what you're not able to install before the workshop ( works best), I'll come to the studio an hour before the workshop to be available to help anyone who needs it.


If you have a smart phone, pull a bunch of photos off of the phone and put them in a single directory on your computer. We'll be doing an exercise with them for this workshop. If you don't have a phone I can also provide you with some photos to work with.

Things To Install

GDAL [Geospatial Data Abstraction Library]

General downloads page:

Mac-specific: [you'll want "GDAL complete"]

Homebrew: brew install gdal

To check if it installed, try typing ogr2ogr --version on the command line, if you get an actual version number you should be good to go.


This has a GUI, but we're installing this mainly to use the command line utility.

General download page:

If using the general install from a Mac, to use the command-line utility you'll need to actually run it by navigating in the terminal to the directory that GPSBabel lives in [lazy method for this if you need it: type cd and drag the application to your terminal window to get its file path].

Once you're in the GPSBabel directory:

  • type cd Contents/Resources.
  • type gpsbabel -V to make sure you're able to access the application.

Homebrew: brew install gpsbabel try gpsbabel -V in the command line to check if it installed

Node.js [really doing this to install NPM]

General download page: Homebrew: brew install node

try node -v or npm -v in the command line to see if it installed.

Specific geospatial Node modules:

Including links for documentation/details on specific modules but here's a thing to just paste in the command line to install everything at once:

sudo npm install -g togeojson geojson-merge

togeojson: geojson-merge:

I'll also be including a rundown of some other good node tools for geodata on Sunday; for the purposes of the workshop exercise I'll be walking you through, you'll only need those two.

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