Learning Objectives

  • Understand the role and significance of package managers in the context of software development and geospatial data science.

  • Install miniconda and mamba package managers to manage your Python packages.

  • Create and activate a new conda environment.

  • Use conda and mamba to install geospatial packages from the conda-forge channel.

  • Recognize key geospatial packages

Geospatial Environment Installation Guide#

In the world of software development, package managers have become a fundamental tool for simplifying the installation of software packages and their dependencies. They automate the process of installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing software packages in a consistent manner. In the field of geospatial data science, where several packages need to be installed, package managers ensure a smooth and efficient setup of your environment.

In this guide, we’ll talk about conda and mamba. Conda is a powerful package manager and environment manager that you use with command line commands at the Anaconda Prompt for Windows, or in a terminal window for macOS or Linux. Mamba is a reimplementation of the conda package manager in C++. It’s designed to be faster and more robust to network issues or packages with tricky dependencies. When working with complex geospatial packages, mamba can often be a more efficient choice.

This page provides a guide on how to install miniconda or mamba, and various geospatial packages including geowombat and geowombat-ml.

Installing Miniconda#

Firstly, you will need to choose between Miniconda & Mamba. Miniconda is a free minimal installer for conda. Please follow the instructions from the Miniconda page to install it on your system.

Installing Mamba#

To install mamba (prefered), please follow the instructions from the Mamba page.

Creating and Activating a New Environment#

You can create a new environment in conda or mamba using the following command:

conda create --name myenv

or with mamba:

mamba create --name myenv

Replace myenv with the name of your environment.


For the remainder of this tutorial we will use mamba, but conda can be exchanged for mamba in all commands.

To activate this environment, use:

mamba activate myenv

Now, any package you install will be installed in this environment, keeping it isolated from other environments.

Installing Geospatial Packages#

Before we install the packages, we need to add conda-forge to your channels:

mamba config --add channels conda-forge
mamba config --set channel_priority strict

Then, we can install geowombat and geowombat-ml using conda or mamba. For mamba:

mamba install geowombat geowombat-ml

Following this, we need to install the following packages: pyproj, geopandas, contextily, earthpy, census, geoplot, osmnx, pykrige, and us. We will start with the packages available through conda-forge:

mamba install pyproj geopandas       

Finally install those packages that aren’t available through conda-forge:

pip install census contextily earthpy geoplot osmnx us pykrige

Now you have all the packages installed and ready to be used in your new environment!