Python Hub

Home Page Anaconda Download Tutorial ABI CONUS AOD Tutorial VIIRS Active Fires Tutorial

Anaconda Installation Guide

Workshop on New Generation Satellite Products for Operational Fire and Smoke Applications
3rd International Smoke Symposium
April 20, 2020

Anaconda is an open source programming platform that allows users to write Python code using the Jupyter Notebooks integrated development environment (IDE). Anaconda comes preloaded with a variety of helpful python libraries, some of which (e.g., NumPy and Matplotlib) are required to work with NOAA satellite datasets.

Step 1: Download the Python Code and Satellite Data

Click on the links below to download the python code and satellite data that we will be using for this workshop:

Step 2: Download Anaconda

We recommend using Anaconda on Windows or Linux platforms. The cartopy library (needed for drawing maps) does not install correctly on platforms running MacOS. We are working on a solution to this problem, but we haven't found one yet. So if you have an Apple computer, you will not be able to run the full code (to make maps) for the Python tutorials on your machine. You can still follow along with the instructors during the workshop, to see how the code works.

Follow the link below to Anaconda’s webpage to download the Anaconda program:

Step 3: Install Anaconda

Install the latest version of Anaconda onto your computer by scrolling down the page, selecting which platform you’ll be working on, and selecting the “Download” option for Python Version 3.X, where “X” is a number corresponding to the latest update to Version 3. An example of the download page appears below, with Version 3.7 circled.

Anaconda Installer

The latest version of Python 3 that Anaconda supports as of writing this is 3.7.

Step 4: Open Jupyter Notebook

Open Anaconda on your computer. When Anaconda opens, you should see a screen like the one below. Click “Launch” under the “Jupyter Notebook” application (circled).

Anaconda JupyterNotebook

Step 5: Download Additional Python Packages

Jupyter Notebook will launch in your browser. If you already have a browser window open, Jupyter Notebook will open a new tab. You should see the below interface.


Next, we’ll download some additional Python packages that are required for working with NOAA satellite data, but are not part of the basic Anaconda installation. Click on the “New” drop down button on the right-hand corner of the screen and choose the “Terminal” option.

Anaconda Terminal

A terminal screen will open, where we can type in the commands to download the additional packages. We recommend installing the following packages: To download these packages, type the following in the console for each package:

conda install (package name)

For example:


And then press enter.

The terminal should begin preparing to install the package, you’ll be asked whether you want to proceed as shown below:


Type the letter “y” and press enter and the package should begin downloading. Do this for each one of the packages listed above.

Step 6: Make a New Folder in Jupyter Notebooks and Upload Files

Once you’ve downloaded the necessary packages, you can return to your Jupyter Notebook browser tab. Next, reopen the “New” drop down menu and create a new folder. It will be named “Untitled Folder.” You can rename it to anything you’d like by clicking the checkbox next to the folder’s name and then clicking the “Rename” button above it.


Once you’ve created and renamed the new folder, open it. Import the Python notebook file(s) and data files by clicking the “Upload” button next to the “New” button in the top right corner of the screen. From there you can upload each file into the folder you created. Be sure to put the data files you will be working with in the same folder as the notebook code file, or else update the file paths in the notebook code file to match the location where you’ve stored your data files.

The folder containing the uploaded files will look something like the screenshot below. In this example, the Python notebook code file is called “ISS3_VIIRS-Active-Fires.ipynb” and the data files are the files with the “.tar” extension.

final files

Once you’ve uploaded notebook file(s), you can click on Python notebook code file (in the above example that would be “ISS3_VIIRS-Active-Fires.ipynb”) to access and run the code.