I am using ArcMap 10.1 SP1. I'm currently working on a project where I have to identify geomorphological features in a digital elevation model. Since the aim is to have a single ArcGIS Toolbox integrating all processing steps in the end, I would like to use Scipy and Scikit-image besides the already provided numpy (version 1.6.1) package in Python (version 2.7) for the image processing.

Installing Scipy and Scikit-image from the precompiled binaries provided by C. Gohlke (many thanks to him for providing this! http://www.lfd.uci.edu/~gohlke/pythonlibs/) is normally a good solution, but not possible in this case, since they were compiled using a newer numpy version.

Upgrading the numpy module of ArcGIS seems not to be an option, because it breaks the arcpy API (reported by ESRI in the webhelp).

I see now two options, but not sure about it at all:

1.) Using another python installation besides the one provided by ArcGIS. The Toolbox is only used to link to external python scripts.

2.) Compiling/building SciPy and Scikit-image from source using the correct modules (extremely complicated, since it has a lot of dependencies, already tried for hours, not successful yet...)

3.) Any other suggestions how to solve this problem?

1 Answer 1


You could try to create an exe (using something like cx_Freeze, py2exe, py2app...etc) that bundled together all of your non-standard ESRI python dependencies/processing logic together. Then, the script used by your ArcToolbox tool could just invoke the exe with the required parameters.

Although not the most ideal solution, at least the exe should work in any version of ArcGIS Desktop.

  • Thank you! I will definitely try this out, deploying a single exe file would be much easier than a whole python installation! If it works, I'll mark your answer as accepted.
    – tmwdr
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 9:13

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