I am trying to run:

from osgeo import ogr

and I get:

Traceback (most recent call last): File "", line 1, in from osgeo import ogr File "C:\Python27\ArcGIS10.2\lib\site-packages\osgeo__init__.py", line 21, in _gdal = swig_import_helper() File "C:\Python27\ArcGIS10.2\lib\site-packages\osgeo__init__.py", line 13, in swig_import_helper import _gdal ImportError: No module named _gdal

So obviously, it's finding the osgeo mod, but what the heck is the _gdal mod? A simple search within my Python paths, shows that I have a module called gdal, but not one with the underscore. Seems like a small issue?

  • You need to include the path to your OSGEO install somewhere. Try import sys then sys.path.append(Path_to_install) prior to from osgeo import gdal. Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 2:00
  • look into this directory (if it exists) just for fun: C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\osgeo Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 12:43
  • In my C:\Python27\ArcGIS10.2\Lib\site-packages\osgeo location theres a 'gdal' file but it's not the '_gdal' one that the error throws. And "'C:\\Python27\\ArcGIS10.2\\lib\\site-packages'" is within my sys.path and that's where the osgeo folder is. So python already is pointed to it.
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 21:58
  • curious if you solved this. was gdal installed as standalone or with a python distro (anaconda, xy, etc..)? Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 12:23
  • I'm interested: Could you solve this?
    – user81683
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


I had this problem today as I was trying to install GDAL on a new machine. I got the error above after the install appeared to work and I was trying to start using it.

The best solution turned out to be starting again and installing from Christoph Gohlke's unofficial binaries: http://www.lfd.uci.edu/~gohlke/pythonlibs/#gdal

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