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Why is it that when I label my directories this way:

arcpy.env.overwriteOutput = True
arcpy.env.workspace = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS\\Testing"
arcpy.env.scratchWorkspace = "C:\\Users\Documents\\ArcGIS\\Testing"
scratch = "C:\\Users\Documents\\ArcGIS\\Testing"
space = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS" #General Directory
workspace = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS\\Textfiles" #Where the final product is saved
folder = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS\\AQS\\site_coordinates\\" #Location of the the site data
textfile_place = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS\\Textfiles\\pollution.txt" #Final Textfile
data = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS\\Textfiles\\data.txt" #Location of data

it reads all of my data, but when I try to clean it up and make it more transferable across computers like this:

arcpy.env.overwriteOutput = True
arcpy.env.workspace = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS\\Testing"
arcpy.env.scratchWorkspace = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS\\Testing"
space = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS"
scratch = space + "\\Testing"
workspace = space + "\\Textfiles"
textfile_place = workspace + "\\pollution.txt"
data = workspace + "data.txt"
folder = space + "\\AQS\\site_coordinates\\"

it doesn't work and says the files don't exist? I've been trying to look on the web but can't find a solution to the problem. Thanks!

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The os Python module will help you solve this problem. For example:

import os, arcpy

arcpy.env.overwriteOutput = True
arcpy.env.workspace = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS\\Testing"
arcpy.env.scratchWorkspace = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS\\Testing"
space = "C:\\Users\\Documents\\ArcGIS"

scratch = os.path.join(space, "Testing")
workspace = os.path.join(space, "Textfiles")
textfile_place = os.path.join(workspace, "pollution.txt")
data = os.path.join(workspace, "data.txt")
folder = os.path.join(space, "AQS", "site_coordinates")
share|improve this answer
That works, thanks! – Alex Aug 14 '14 at 20:02
Nice answer Aaron, simple and concise. Alex, something else that may help is os.path.exists(path) to check for an object in your filesystem, this will return true if a file or folder matches path - couple with os.path.isdir(path) to confirm if a folder exists and then use os.mkdirs(path) to create the folder if you can't find it. – Michael Miles-Stimson Aug 14 '14 at 21:39

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