Install Anaconda Python

You can download Anaconda from If you want to use it with ArcGIS for Desktop, you must get the one for Python 2.7, and make sure you get 64-bit if you’re using 64-bit ArcGIS, or 32-bit if not.

When you run the installer, it’ll ask you the standard stuff about where you want to install it, but then you’ll see a dialog with two checkboxes. Usually the top one (Add Anaconda to my PATH environment variable) is checked for you. Keep it checked. The second one (Register Anaconda as my default Python 2.7) shouldn’t be checked, because I think it has the potential to break ArcGIS (I haven’t tested that, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!).

Once Anaconda is installed, you’ll need to copy (not move!) a file from the ArcGIS Python folder into the Anaconda one so that Anaconda knows how to work with ArcGIS. Select the correct file and folder based on your installation using the info shown below:

The file to copy:

  • 64-bit: C:\Python27\ArcGISx6410.4\Lib\site-packages\DTBGGP64.pth
  • 32-bit: C:\Python27\ArcGIS10.4\Lib\site-packages\Desktop10.4.pth

The folder to copy it into:

  • If you installed Anaconda for just yourself (change username to your username): C:\Users\username\Anaconda2\Lib\site-packages
  • If you installed Anaconda for all users: C:\Anaconda2\Lib\site-packages

Configure Jupyter Notebook

Anaconda installs the Jupyter Notebook application, but it’s set to use your user folder. If that’s not where you store your data, you’ll have to change the configuration.

A good way to find out where it’s currently pointing is to start it up, so find Jupyter Notebook in the Anaconda2 group under your Start menu. When started, it’ll open a command prompt and web browser. You can ignore the command prompt, but don’t close it (closing it kills the Notebook app). The web browser will display the files in whatever folder Jupyter is using. It’ll let you access anything in this folder or a subfolder, but nowhere else on your computer. If you need to change the folder it’s using, close the browser window and command prompt and then follow these directions:

  1. Open the Anaconda Prompt (check your Start menu under Anaconda2).
  2. In the command prompt window that opens, type the following command and hit then Enter.
    jupyter notebook --generate-config
  3. Now you should have a file called C:\Users\username\.jupyter\ (change username to your username). Open this file in a text editor such as Notepad.
  4. Find the line that says
    # c.NotebookApp.notebook_dir = u''
  5. Change this line so that the hash at the beginning is gone and it points to the folder you want to use. You can’t use a drive root such as C:\; it must be a folder. For example,
    c.NotebookApp.notebook_dir = r'C:\Classes'
  6. Save the file.
  7. Open Jupyter Notebook to make sure it worked and is now pointing to the correct location.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *