SpatiaLite adds spatial support to SQLite, turning it into a full-featured spatial database.
Check first if you can install Spatialite from system packages or binaries. For
example, on Debian-based distributions, try to install the
package. For Mac OS X, follow the
specific instructions below. For Windows, you may
find binaries on Gaia-SINS home page. In any case, you should always
be able to install from source.
When you are done with the installation process, skip to Creating a spatial database for SpatiaLite.
Installing from source¶
GEOS and PROJ.4 should be installed prior to building SpatiaLite.
Check first if SQLite is compiled with the R*Tree module. Run the sqlite3 command line interface and enter the following query:
sqlite> CREATE VIRTUAL TABLE testrtree USING rtree(id,minX,maxX,minY,maxY);
If you obtain an error, you will have to recompile SQLite from source. Otherwise, just skip this section.
To install from sources, download the latest amalgamation source archive from the SQLite download page, and extract:
$ wget http://sqlite.org/sqlite-amalgamation-184.108.40.206.tar.gz $ tar xzf sqlite-amalgamation-220.127.116.11.tar.gz $ cd sqlite-18.104.22.168
Next, run the
configure script – however the
CFLAGS environment variable
needs to be customized so that SQLite knows to build the R*Tree module:
$ CFLAGS="-DSQLITE_ENABLE_RTREE=1" ./configure $ make $ sudo make install $ cd ..
SpatiaLite library (
libspatialite) and tools (
Get the latest SpatiaLite library source and tools bundle from the download page:
$ wget http://www.gaia-gis.it/gaia-sins/libspatialite-sources/libspatialite-amalgamation-2.4.0-5.tar.gz $ wget http://www.gaia-gis.it/gaia-sins/spatialite-tools-sources/spatialite-tools-2.4.0-5.tar.gz $ tar xzf libspatialite-amalgamation-2.4.0-5.tar.gz $ tar xzf spatialite-tools-2.4.0-5.tar.gz
Prior to attempting to build, please read the important notes below to see if
customization of the
configure command is necessary. If not, then run the
configure script, make, and install for the SpatiaLite library:
$ cd libspatialite-amalgamation-2.3.1 $ ./configure # May need to be modified, see notes below. $ make $ sudo make install $ cd ..
Finally, do the same for the SpatiaLite tools:
$ cd spatialite-tools-2.3.1 $ ./configure # May need to be modified, see notes below. $ make $ sudo make install $ cd ..
If you’ve installed GEOS and PROJ.4 from binary packages, you will have to specify
their paths when running the
configure scripts for both the library and the
tools (the configure scripts look, by default, in
/usr/local). For example,
on Debian/Ubuntu distributions that have GEOS and PROJ.4 packages, the command would be:
$ ./configure --with-proj-include=/usr/include --with-proj-lib=/usr/lib --with-geos-include=/usr/include --with-geos-lib=/usr/lib
For Mac OS X users building from source, the SpatiaLite library and tools
need to have their
$ ./configure --target=macosx
If you’ve decided to use a newer version of pysqlite2 instead of the
sqlite3 Python stdlib
module, then you need to make sure it can load external extensions (i.e. the
enable_load_extension method is available so
SpatiaLite can be
This might involve building it yourself. For this, download pysqlite2 2.6, and untar:
$ wget https://pypi.python.org/packages/source/p/pysqlite/pysqlite-2.6.3.tar.gz $ tar xzf pysqlite-2.6.3.tar.gz $ cd pysqlite-2.6.3
Next, use a text editor to edit the
setup.cfg file to look like the
[build_ext] #define= include_dirs=/usr/local/include library_dirs=/usr/local/lib libraries=sqlite3 #define=SQLITE_OMIT_LOAD_EXTENSION
or if you are on Mac OS X:
[build_ext] #define= include_dirs=/Library/Frameworks/SQLite3.framework/unix/include library_dirs=/Library/Frameworks/SQLite3.framework/unix/lib libraries=sqlite3 #define=SQLITE_OMIT_LOAD_EXTENSION
The important thing here is to make sure you comment out the
define=SQLITE_OMIT_LOAD_EXTENSION flag and that the
library_dirs settings are uncommented and set to the appropriate
path if the SQLite header files and libraries are not in
setup.cfg appropriately, then run the
to build and install:
$ sudo python setup.py install
Mac OS X-specific instructions¶
First, follow the instructions in the KyngChaos packages section.
When Creating a spatial database for SpatiaLite, the
spatialite program is required.
However, instead of attempting to compile the SpatiaLite tools from source,
download the SpatiaLite Binaries for OS X, and install
spatialite in a
location available in your
PATH. For example:
$ curl -O http://www.gaia-gis.it/spatialite/spatialite-tools-osx-x86-2.3.1.tar.gz $ tar xzf spatialite-tools-osx-x86-2.3.1.tar.gz $ cd spatialite-tools-osx-x86-2.3.1/bin $ sudo cp spatialite /Library/Frameworks/SQLite3.framework/Programs
Finally, for GeoDjango to be able to find the KyngChaos SpatiaLite library,
add the following to your
Homebrew handles all the SpatiaLite related packages on your behalf, including SQLite3, SpatiaLite, PROJ, and GEOS. Install them like this:
$ brew update $ brew install spatialite-tools $ brew install gdal
Finally, for GeoDjango to be able to find the SpatiaLite library, add the
following to your
Creating a spatial database for SpatiaLite¶
After you’ve installed SpatiaLite, you’ll need to create a number of spatial metadata tables in your database in order to perform spatial queries.
If you’re using SpatiaLite 2.4 or newer, use the
spatialite utility to
InitSpatialMetaData() function, like this:
$ spatialite geodjango.db "SELECT InitSpatialMetaData();" the SPATIAL_REF_SYS table already contains some row(s) InitSpatiaMetaData ()error:"table spatial_ref_sys already exists" 0
You can safely ignore the error messages shown. When you’ve done this, you can skip the rest of this section.
If you’re using SpatiaLite 2.3, you’ll need to download a database-initialization file and execute its SQL queries in your database.
First, get it from the SpatiaLite Resources page:
$ wget http://www.gaia-gis.it/spatialite-2.3.1/init_spatialite-2.3.sql.gz $ gunzip init_spatialite-2.3.sql.gz
Then, use the
spatialite command to initialize a spatial database:
$ spatialite geodjango.db < init_spatialite-2.3.sql
geodjango.db is the filename of the SQLite database
you want to use. Use the same in the
manage.py migrate with a SQLite (or SpatiaLite) database,
the database file will be automatically created if it doesn’t exist. In
this case, if your models contain any geometry columns, you’ll see this
CreateSpatialIndex() error: "no such table: geometry_columns"
It’s because the table creation queries are executed without spatial
metadata tables. To avoid this, make the database file before executing
manage.py migrate as described above.