Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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:


share|improve this question

11 Answers 11

up vote 40 down vote accepted

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.

share|improve this answer
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 – GuidoS Sep 30 '10 at 16:21
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. – DavidF Sep 30 '10 at 16:51
Try from osgeo import gdal – DavidF Sep 30 '10 at 19:41
@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. – matt wilkie Oct 12 '10 at 17:40
... 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) – Mike T Mar 23 '11 at 10:58

Install native GDAL on Windows for 32/64-bit versions, currently Python 2.6 to Python 3.3:

So far, I'm impressed with the quality of this Python distribution for Windows. Not only is it a recent version of GDAL (presently 1.9.2), but no external libraries need to be added or managed. (It includes gdal19.dll, etc. and the GDAL_DATA directory). You can use PythonWin or whatever else you install on your system.

Two drawbacks that I have noticed with this particular package:

  1. It does not support the PostgreSQL driver for PostGIS. If you don't need it, then this isn't a problem.
  2. It includes the GDAL data directory, but it does not set the GDAL_DATA environment variable to it. Perhaps you have this variable set by another installation (e.g., the Windows PostGIS installer does this), which is OK. But if GDAL_DATA is not set, there could be some issues with the OGR module.

Here is a workaround to get GDAL_DATA working with the package if it is broken. Find the top-level package Python source file, e.g. C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\osgeo\ and add:

# __init__ for osgeo package.
import os
if 'GDAL_DATA' not in os.environ:
    os.environ['GDAL_DATA'] = os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__), 'data', 'gdal')
share|improve this answer
+1 I've found that page an invaluable source of Python distributions for 64-bit Windows – geographika May 17 '11 at 19:46
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.... – djq Dec 27 '11 at 15:11
This worked for me much easier than the accepted answer since I don't want another install of Python and Numpy. – Ahmed Fasih Jan 14 '14 at 20:28

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.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer
I will try this out over the weekend... thanks – GuidoS Oct 15 '10 at 21:05

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
share|improve this answer
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). – matt wilkie Oct 12 '10 at 17:31

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

Thanks to blog post at for the link.

share|improve this answer
Link to the blog post seems to be dead.. – radek Nov 11 '15 at 14:03
updated is here but I'm not sure how helpful it is anymore… – snorris Dec 3 '15 at 2:47

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

share|improve this answer

I use FWTools in Windows XP. It includes a Python installation with the GDAL libraries. After installation, just run your Python scripts from the FWTools Shell.

share|improve this answer
FWTools was a good tool at the time, but is has got no updates since then. I suggest to switch to gisinternlas which is still actively maintained. – AndreJ Jul 28 '15 at 8:08

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).

share|improve this answer
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. – AndreJ Jul 28 '15 at 8:05

I just did it yesterday following this tutorial It worked fine to me.

share|improve this answer

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Please summarize the main concept here, otherwise this answer might turn useless when the links break. – underdark Jul 27 '15 at 21:51

I had much problem today, but now it is solved, and I put my recordings here,

basically, I refer to the accepted answer of this question

share|improve this answer

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Please summarize the main concept here, otherwise this answer might turn useless when the links break. – underdark Jul 27 '15 at 21:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.