Fixing ArcGIS 10.1 Numpy Import Error From Python Console

At my current employer, we have four Windows 7 64-bit workstations, all running ArcGIS 10.1 under various license levels. Hilariously, due to some quirk that I haven’t been able to figure out, all machines have been reporting the following traceback when running >>> import numpy from ArcGIS Desktop’s internal Python console.

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>>> import numpy
Runtime error 
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<string>", line 1, in <module>
  File "c:\program files (x86)\arcgis\desktop10.1\arcpy\arcpy\__init__.py", line 24, in <module>
    from arcpy.toolbox import *
  File "c:\program files (x86)\arcgis\desktop10.1\arcpy\arcpy\toolbox.py", line 342, in <module>
    from management import Graph, GraphTemplate
  File "c:\program files (x86)\arcgis\desktop10.1\arcpy\arcpy\management.py", line 22, in <module>
    import _management
  File "c:\program files (x86)\arcgis\desktop10.1\arcpy\arcpy\_management.py", line 14, in <module>
    import _graph
  File "c:\program files (x86)\arcgis\desktop10.1\arcpy\arcpy\_graph.py", line 27, in <module>
    import numpy
ImportError: No module named numpy

One solution to this is to explicitly append the PYTHONPATH environment variable to reference the ArcGIS10.1 Python install’s site-packages directory.

Creation of PYTHONPATH Environment Variable

  1. From the start menu, right click the computer button and select properties.

  2. Click Advanced System Settings.

  3. Click the Advanced tab, and select the Environment Variables button.

  4. Click New to create a new environment variable.

  5. Name the environment variable PYTHONPATH and set it’s value to point to the site-packages directory for ArcGIS. For my instance, this is C:\Python27\ArcGIS10.1\Lib\site-packages.

  6. Restart the machine. You should now be able to successfully import numpy, arcpy, and any other Python modules installed as part of the ArcGIS 10.x version of Python.

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