With the gracious help of Dane Springmeyer, I recently got Mapnik up and running on my Mac, so naturally the first thing I wanted to do was to plot iNaturalist observations. Mapnik will talk with a PostGIS database just fine, but it wont’t pull points from a MySQL database table, at least not directly. What it does support, though, is the all-powerful OGR. Back when I used to use Mapserver, I had used OGR a few times to act as a bridge between simple lat/lon columns in a MySQL table and Mapserver (great description here), so I figured the same would be possible in Mapnik.

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