I am running python 2.7.6 from an ArcGIS installation. I have tried to install scipy from the Python Exchange Packages here, using the scipy-0.14.0.win32-py2.7.exe executable. I get no error importing scipy, but when I try to import scipy.spatial I get the following error:

In [1]: import scipy

In [2]: import scipy.spatial
ImportError                               Traceback (most recent call last)
<ipython-input-2-6f8fbf892cc9> in <module>()
----> 1 import scipy.spatial

C:\Python27\ArcGIS10.2\lib\site-packages\scipy\spatial\__init__.py in <module>()
     89 from .kdtree import *
     90 from .ckdtree import *
---> 91 from .qhull import *
     92 from ._plotutils import *

ImportError: DLL load failed: %1 is not a valid Win32 application.

Anyone had success install scipy with spatial functions on top of Esri's Python site-package (ArcPy)?

  • I have successfully used both together. Are you running 32bit or 64bit Python (e.g. which one is on your PATH environment variable)? What about installing scipy via PIP?
    – bcollins
    Oct 6, 2014 at 22:02
  • No, PIP didn't work, or easy_install. Lots of errors.
    – JMT2080AD
    Oct 6, 2014 at 22:31

2 Answers 2


The version of scipy that Christolph Gohlke has (very kindly) compiled is compiled against the version of numpy he's compiled with the against the Intel Math Kernel Library. This is different to the version of numpy that's released with ArcGIS, and as such won't work with the ArcGIS installed version.

Instead if you download scipy from the official SourceForge repository it should work.

  • That's it! I had noticed that at first, but had installed the version of numpy that Christolph compiled against as a solution. That caused other issues apparently.
    – JMT2080AD
    Oct 6, 2014 at 22:29

The issue seems to be that the scipy supplied by ArcGIS depends on DLL's loaded by arcpy. So if you do import arcpy import scipy.spatial Then the error seems to go away. Without importing arcpy, you get this error.

Alternatively, if you add the directory C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.5\bin to your PATH, then the scipy libraries will find the arcpy DLL's that are needed.

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