Installing OSMnx on Windows

Joshua Kobina Obeng
4 min readApr 24, 2021

This is a step-by-step approach to installing the Open Street Map (OSMnx) library for python using conda. These are personal steps I took to install the library after several unsuccessful attempts. I hope this article is worth the reading.

Introduction

Geoff Boeing has written extensively on Open Street Map and this article mirrors the work of Geoff. This article takes a vivid look at installing the OSMnx library on a windows computer but the process indicated here can be replicated on Mac.

What you need to get started

  1. An updated version of Anaconda is suitable.
  2. A good internet connection because of the packages that will be downloaded
  3. Enough space on your local computer

Let’s get started

  • Visit here to see documentation and installation instructions. Scroll down to “More info:” and click on Documentation as shown below. This will open the documentation.
opening documentation as the first step
  • At the documentation webpage, scroll to installation.
Installation page
  • The installation has to be done in the base/root terminal. There’re two ways to go about this (which is really cool for Windows), 1. Click the home button, search for Anaconda (mostly appears as a folder) click the drop-down, and click Anaconda Prompt or 2. Run anaconda and launch the CMD.exe prompt to directly work in the base terminal (pretty easy huh!).
Anaconda prompt
CMD.exe Prompt
  • Next, copy ‘conda config — prepend channels conda-forge’ and paste in the base terminal, and hit enter.
  • When the forge is done, copy and paste ‘conda create -n ox — strict-channel-priority osmnx’ and hit enter to install the osmnx packages. If prompted to press [y/n] to proceed, press ‘y’ to continue.
  • This could take a while depending on the speed of the internet and the packages being installed.
  • When the installation is complete (in the terminal), an instruction will be given to activate the environment.
  • When done, head to the Anaconda Navigator and confirm if the installation worked. Next to “Applications on” is a box that displays the base root and a drop-down icon. Click on the icon to see “ox” installed.
Run apps on ox
  • Click on “ox”. This will tell anaconda to switch to the ox base/ root and this will be mirrored in the terminal as well and it will take some time but not too much.
  • The ox will require you to install jupyter notebook for that environment, do just that
  • Finally, open a notebook and import osmnx as ox, and try some examples in the repo.
  • I hope every works fine :)

Caveats

  • Do not try to pip install osmnx directly in jupyter notebook unless you know what you’re doing.
  • Make sure you’re in the ox environment.
  • Keep the terminal running, do not close it just yet.
  • If you encounter ImportError: cannot import name ‘gcd’ from fractions, don’t panic; from the ox terminal, do a “pip3 install networkx==2.5”
  • If you need to install any other library, always do so in the terminal.

Conclusion

Working with Open Street Map (OSM) is amazing when working with maps and getting information from a location from the comfort of your computer. This repo is for windows but the same procedure can be followed for mac users. I must state unequivocally that this is not the only way to install osmnx on a local computer, you can also mount osmnx on a docker and run it in your notebook.

Map

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