Over the last year of my involvement with Mapnik I've seen a huge growth in Mapnik users running on Macs. While most ultimately deploy their mapping systems on Linux, for many it all starts on the Mac.
Macs for Mapping?
OS X, with XCode installed, is a great platform for getting up and running with Mapnik as Apple provides many of the solid *nix libraries you need to get started compiling. Apple also pre-installs a multi-architecture build of the latest Python release, which makes getting started with Python easy.
But this same batteries-includes philosophy can trip up from-source installations due to the potential for duplicate libraries and python versions, especially when users are employing open source packaging system like Macports.
What if you're at a conference and don't want to download the several GB's needed for the iPhone/XCode development environment just get a vanilla Mac rendering a few OpenStreetMap tiles?
What if you are deploying Mac mini's in the field and need a fast, lightweight, offline deployment setup?
Or what if you just need to get your designers up and running with Quantumnik and QGIS and don't want them to have to hassle with Python versions?
It could be easier
For all these reasons, and more, it should be easier, and it can be.
Now you can just head over to dbsgeo.com and grab the latest release or latest trunk build and you can have Mapnik running in literally minutes.
Thanks to the support from Development Seed, the great wisdom and advice of William Kyngesburye, and many months of testing from a long list of intrepid Mapnik users, these installers should be pretty solid. If you find problems or have suggestions to improve them (there are certainly lots of potential ways!) please post your reports to the Mapnik Trac site.