GDAL works in Bash but not Python

I have been fighting with getting GDAL installed properly for some time now, and just when I thought I had everything working properly I discovered another road block.

I have installed GDAL using the solution described here, which is a form that supports HDF4 file formats. For example, using gdalinfo --formats in bash returns a list of supported file formats, and HDF4 is included there. In addition, gdalinfo XYZ.hdf returns a complete description of whatever hdf file I input.

However, when trying to work with HDF4 files through Python, I spring an error that HDF4 is not a supported file format. Using

 import osgeo.gdal as gdal

yields no return whatsoever.

I am confused because GDAL appears to be built properly for me, but I can't get it to work through Python. I've explored this source as well as this source, but they describe GDAL installation with HDF4 support - which I've already accomplished. For some reason it seems like Python doesn't know how to use the GDAL I've installed to its fullest potential...

Versions: Mac OSX El Capitan Version 10.11.6; GDAL 2.2.1, released 2017/06/23


  • Finally figured it out, folks. I'm not sure which exact steps I needed or were not necessary, so I'll post my full workflow in order to maintain transparency.

    As per the comments of Dmitri and Logan above, I investigated as to whether or not I had the proper gdal python library, rather than simply a gdal bash library. Still unsure of what the difference is, but as it turns out I had a couple different gdal libraries present within the packages subfolder in anaconda (cd /Users/myusername/anaconda/pkgs, ls). I removed these libraries using rm and some tag (maybe -r?).

    I then reinstalled my spatial libraries using anaconda, following the guidelines posted here. Unfortunately my bash was unable to access the jgomezdans website but I was able to bypass this element of the equation by using conda install proj4 (rather than conda install -c proj4), etc.

    After installing all of the scipy stuff etc, I brought in proj4, hdf4, and gdal (in that order). When trying to install geos I caught an error that it had already been installed.

    With all of this completed, I used the command in my original post, as well as in Logan's comment, to check that HDF4 was present. My command returns the following:

    <osgeo.gdal.Driver; proxy of <Swig Object of type 'GDALDriverShadow *' at 0x10fc66180> >

    Logan's returns a full list of the available gdal drivers in python's gdal. Sure enough, hdf4 is on the list.

    tl;dr I uninstalled everything and reinstalled many things.