Installing GDAL with Python on windows?

  • Can anyone explain how to install GDAL/OGR with Python on Windows?

    I have Windows Vista and I have tried following the information on the website and it does not seem to bind the exe files for me.

    Can someone describe the process, including links to the files/folders I will need?

    I have now tried to run the gdal setup with minGW, but this has also failed:


  • scw

    scw Correct answer

    10 years ago

    Unless you have good reasons not to, I'd definitely recommend starting with the OSGeo4W installer, which can install multiple different versions of GDAL and their relevant Python bindings. It works great and dramatically simplifies the Windows deployment story. Specifically, you'll want to install pkg-gdal-python, which is within 'Libs' in the installer tree.

    So I used the OSGeo4W installer to install gdal and then tried their little command line interface, but was still unable in python to do the following: import gdal

    also, I am not sure where it installed gdal? any thoughts?

    OSGEO4W installs it's own Python instance under the OSGEO4W root. To use the Python that includes gdal and all of the other OSGEO modules, open the OSGEO4W shell start>program files>osgeo4w. Launch Python or run a Python script from there.

    yeah... so I ran OSGEO command line and ran python, still could not import gdal. I return to my original question

    Try `from osgeo import gdal`

    This is what I get:

    H:\>python Python 2.5.2 (r252:60911, Feb 21 2008, 13:11:45) [MSC v.1310 32 bit (Intel)] on win32 Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> from osgeo import gdal >>> dir(gdal) ['AllRegister', 'AutoCreateWarpedVRT', 'Band', 'Band_swigregister', 'CE_Debug', 'CE_Failure', 'CE_Fatal', 'CE_None', 'CE_Warning',

    Hey Guido, there should be a bunch of .py files in OSGeo4/apps/gdal-16/pymod Shouldn't this be a new question?

    @scw please consider rolling up the examples from the comments into your answer. It will make it easier to piece the relevant information together into a cohesive whole (in part because of being able to preserve code formatting). Vote up the comments you use as means of crediting and acknowledging the source.

    Just note that OSGeo4W does not yet support GDAL 1.7, sticking to version 1.6 last time I checked.

    ... skip to March 2011 ... OSGeo4W now has the default GDAL distribution at version 1.8 (versions 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7 are optional)

    Is there a way to use "from osgeo import gdal" from my main python shell instead of using OSGEO's shell?

    @AlexisEggermont it is possible, but mixing multiple Python environments together is fraught with challenges. Probably a better approach is to use something like Miniconda to create a single Python environment which contains GDAL and the rest of the packages you're used to having.

  • You can download GDAL wheel package from Christoph Gohlke's Unofficial Windows Binaries for Python Extension Packages.

    It can be installed from cmd.exe using something like:

    c:\Python27\Scripts\pip.exe install GDAL-X.Y.Z-cp27-none-win_XYZ.whl

    (You should install NumPy from the same place using a similar command)

    While the package is not built by OSGeo or GDAL developers, it is a high quality distribution with support for the latest versions of GDAL compiled for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Python. No external libraries need to be added or managed!

    Update it even sets the GDAL_DATA environment variable, if it is not set, and includes a PostgreSQL driver to read data from PostGIS.

    +1 I've found that page an invaluable source of Python distributions for 64-bit Windows

    I'm having difficulty with this installer working as it is failing to detect my python installations. I have python26 and python27 installed in `C:/Python2X` but it can't find it.... nevermind! Choose 64 bit instead of 32....

    This worked for me much easier than the accepted answer since I don't want another install of Python and Numpy.

    These lines are now included with installation.

    thanks @Barbarossa, I've updated this answer to reflect the current status of the package.

  • Another option is to install the Anaconda Python distribution which has packages for GDAL. If you are going to be doing a lot of work using GDAL with other Python packages (scipy, pandas, scikit-learn etc.,) this might be a better option than OSGeo4W. On the other hand if you want to use Python in combination with a number of open source remote sensing and GIS packages (GRASS, QGIS etc.,) OSGeo4W is probably the better option.

    You can get the full Anaconda distribution from: which contains a lot of Python packages aimed at 'data science' or a minimal installation from

    As part of the installation it will prompt you to add to the main path (so it is available from any terminal).

    Once set up GDAL can be installed into a new environment using:

    conda create -n gdal_env -c conda-forge gdal

    Then activating it as show when the command finishes. Installing into a new environment is recommended to avoid conflicts with other packages and make sure the environmental variables required are set.

    I've suggested installing from the conda-forge channel ( as they are very active in keeping their GDAL builds up to date and making sure they work against a lot of libraries.

    Once installed packages can be updated from within the environment using:

    conda update gdal

    This is definitely the easiest method, especially if you plan on installing other complex Python packages (e.g. scikit-learn, numpy)

    This is great! Especially nice b/c you can run it through the command line as well as through python.

    One can also install it by going to "Environments" and select the environment that one wants to use. Then search "gdal" in "All" of the packages

  • Here is another tutorial which explains very simple and easy way of installing GDAL v1.8 with Python v2.7 on a Windows XP/7 system.

  • I find OSGEO4W a poor solution because it creates a whole parallel universe, almost like a virtual machine. I was able to install GDAL and use it in python following the steps outlined here (this is the link provided by @sys49152).

    It sends you to Take the link to "stable releases" to get to:

    Now you have to choose between 32 and 64 bits and different Microsoft Visual C++ compiler versions. Note that this has to match your python version, not your OS. In my case I have a 64 bit windows, but a 32 bit python 2.7 (that shipped with ArcGIS).

    To see what you have you can run python on the command line and a message like this:

    Python 2.7.2 (default, Jun 12 2011, 15:08:59) [MSC v.1500 32 bit (Intel)] on win32
    Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

    So I need to use "release-1500"

    I selected: MSVC 2013/win32 release-1500-gdal-1-11-3-mapserver-6-4-2

    (the build version numbers will change over time)

    I first downloaded and installed the "Generic installer for the GDAL core components": gdal-111-1500-core.msi

    And added the path and other variables as described here.

    Add to path: C:\Program Files (x86)\GDAL Create environmental variables: GDAL_DATA = C:\Program Files (x86)\GDAL\gdal-data GDAL_DRIVER_PATH = C:\Program Files (x86)\GDAL\gdalplugins

    Then, I downloaded and installed the python module for python 2.7 GDAL-1.11.3.win32-py2.7.msi

    And after that, in python I was able to do

    from osgeo import gdal
    ds = gdal.Open('file.tif')


    Nicely documented step-by-step. Thank you.

  • I know The OSGEO installer was mentioned, but as GuidoS said it doesn't work unless you're on the osgeow shell, which is fine and dandy if all you're doing is basic python. Chances are if you're not, you either have to reinstall the package and then have to run your app/plugin from that folder or have to compile all the dependencies for gdal and install it again.

    What works for me is:

    • In PyDev/Eclipse (not my primary IDE), I add the list of libraries to the default python interpreter
    • Use the built in console to run the files

    You can set o4w python as the system default python, e.g. make it available to everything, by adding it to the system registry. There is a python script for doing this on 32bit windows at (64bit must be added by hand).

  • Its really not that difficult to do. I've compiled it many times before using Visual Studio without any issues. Just follow the directions here: link text.

    It's pretty straightforward, just read through the well documented and set the appropriate directories, notably the Python one. Once it's built you should have a Python module built which you can then copy to your Python installation, which I've always done maually, but there is probably a more approriate method.

  • Another current, very easy option for downloading the gdal binaries is at Christoph Gohlke’s site

    Thanks to blog post at for the link.

    Link to the blog post seems to be dead..

    That link is also now dead.

  • The two top answers by @SCW and @Mike Toews are great. The site listed by Mike is for unofficial binaries - which was very useful when 64 bit GDAL was not readily available (as per the time he wrote his reply), but it has been now for some time. I have added this alternative answer here as, although I have mentioned it many times, it still keep cropping up and this wiki may be a better place to put it.

    If you want to install just the GDAL Binaries for Python on a windows machine I would get the installers from the excellent GIS Internals Site. This site is linked from the official GDAL/OGR Binaries page. This gives you access to GDAL through a normal Python install without any need for using the osgeow shell. The binaries here are regularly maintained and compiled against a variety of versions of Visual Studio (so choose depending on what runtimes you have installed).

    It is no problem at all to have several MSVC runtimes installed on the same computer. If you need special drivers like ECW and MrSid, note that there are different opportunities compiled under the different MSVC plattforms. Just follow the `information` link and see the differences.

  • Like the other contributors, I advice to choose OSGEO4W installer.

    If for any reasons, you don't want or can't use it, see the Python packages documentation on gdal

    You will discover, for example, there are gdal binaries on OSGEO website

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM