Wade: Chapter 1: Introducing Python


Mack Wade

Chapter 1: Introducing Python


  • Python is a free + open source software (FOSS)
  • Programming is building elements from scratch
  • Scripting is the glue that allows elements to work together
  • Python is both a scripting and programming language
  • Python is the preferred programming language for ArcGIS Pro (Pro uses Python 3)


  • Back Porting – When a software patch or update is taken from a recent software version and approved to an older version of the same software
  • Backward Compatibility – a property of a system, product, or technology that allows for interoperability with an older legacy system, or for input designed for such a system
  • Cross Platform – Any software application that works on multiple operating systems
  • Interpreted Language – A programming language which are generally interpreted, without compiling a program into a machine
  • Object Oriented – A methodology which enables a system to be modeled as a set of objects which can be controlled and manipulated in a modular manner
  • Object Oriented Programming (OOP) – A programming paradigm that relies on the concept of classes and objects
  • Syntax – The set of rules that defines the conditions of symbols that are considered to be correctly structured statements or expressions in that language


Review Questions

  • What are some of the key features of Python that make it suitable as a scripting language to work with ArcGIS Pro? 
    • Python is the preferred language for Pro, and has its own module, ArcPy,  that allows python to translate GIS functions. You can also run Python on the Python window in Pro that allows you to directly run code and see results in the map. 
  • What does it mean that Python is an interpreted language? 
    • Python is called an interpreted language because it goes through an interpreter, which turns code into the language understood by the computer’s processor
  • What are some of the differences between scripting and programming?
    • Scripting
      • To automate certain tasks in a program
      • Extracting info from a data set
      • Less code intensive as compared to traditional programming languages
    • Programming
      • Typically run inside a parent program 
      • More compatible while integrating code with mathematical models
  • Which Version of Python is used with ArcGIS Pro?
    • Python 3
  • What are some of the reasons to invest time and effort into learning Python?
    • Python is very easy to learn as a beginner. Python can also automate tasks that would otherwise be performed manually and would take up time.