Adventures in Machine Learning

Mastering the ModuleNotFoundError with Basemap in Python

Python is a popular programming language that is used for a variety of purposes ranging from web development to data science. However, like any other programming language, Python can sometimes be a bit tricky when it comes to debugging.

One common error that many Python developers have encountered is the “ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘mpl_toolkits.basemap'”. In this article, we will explore what this error means, how to reproduce it, and most importantly, how to fix it.

Error: ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘mpl_toolkits.basemap’

If you are new to Python or just starting out with the Basemap package, you may have encountered this error before. The error message indicates that the Python environment you are using cannot find the mpl_toolkits.basemap module, which is required to use the Basemap package.

How to reproduce the error? Reproducing this error is straightforward.

All you need to do is attempt to import the Basemap package into your Python code using the following command:

`from mpl_toolkits.basemap import Basemap`

If the Basemap package is not installed in your Python environment, you will get the “ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘mpl_toolkits.basemap'” error. How to fix the error?

The most fundamental fix for this error is to install the Basemap package by using pip. The following command can be used to install the Basemap package in your Python environment:


pip install basemap`

It is essential to ensure that you have the correct version of Python installed before executing the install command.

You should also ensure that your Python environment is active, to ensure the package gets installed to the correct environment.

Install commands for other environments

There are different ways to execute the install command based on your operating system and version of Python. Here are the installation commands for various environments:


`py -m

pip install basemap`

MacOS and Linux:

`python3 -m

pip install basemap`

Common causes for the error:


You have multiple versions of Python

Having multiple versions of Python installed on your computer is a common reason behind this error. When you execute the package installation command, it might get installed into one version of Python, and you might try to run it in another, causing the error message to appear.

To solve this issue, ensure that you always use the -a python command to check the active version of Python before executing any code. 2.

Python virtual environment is active

Python virtual environments are a good way to manage dependencies and isolate different Python projects. However, sometimes it’s possible that the package was installed in a different virtual environment than the one you are currently working in.

Pip install commands are executed in the same virtual environment as the one you are currently using. Therefore, if you try to run a package installed in a different environment, Python will not find it and raise the “ModuleNotFoundError” error.

To fix this issue, run the pip install command again while ensuring that the correct virtual environment is active, or alternatively, deactivate the current virtual environment, and run the pip install command again. 3.

IDE using a different Python version

If you use a text editor or an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to write your Python code, you might encounter the “ModuleNotFoundError” error if the IDE is using a different Python version from the one you are using in your project. To fix this issue, you should check the interpreter version used by the IDE and ensure it is the same as the Python version you are using in your project.

4. Error in PyCharm

If you are using PyCharm as your IDE and you encounter the “ModuleNotFoundError” error while running your code, it’s probably because the PyCharm virtual environment didn’t install the Basemap package.

To fix this issue, you can install the package directly from PyCharm. Go to File > Settings > Project: [project_name] > Project Interpreter > + > search for “basemap” > Install Package.


In conclusion, the “ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘mpl_toolkits.basemap'” error is a common error encountered by many Python developers. It is important to understand the cause of the error and what steps to take to fix it.

This article has outlined the common causes of the error and provided the necessary solutions to help you resolve it. After reading the article, you may be wondering about the Basemap package’s capabilities and why it is essential to be able to install it correctly.

In this expansion, we will explore this package in more detail, its features, and how it can be used in Python applications. What is the Basemap package?

The Basemap package is a library for plotting data on maps in Python. This package allows developers to create various map projections and draw geographical features such as coastlines, country boundaries, cities, and rivers.

Basemap uses matplotlib as a backend to generate high-quality static maps that can be used for data exploration, visualization, and presentation. Basemap is particularly useful for scientists, analysts, and geospatial data enthusiasts who want to create maps using Python.

It provides easy-to-use functions that allow users to visualize data on maps in a concise and intuitive way. By leveraging Basemap, developers can focus on the data they want to plot, instead of worrying about the intricacies of map projections and drawing features on the map.

Why is it essential to install the Basemap package correctly? Suppose you’re exploring the Basemap package for the first time.

In that case, you may encounter challenges trying to install it correctly on your Python environment due to the various dependencies it has. Furthermore, the “ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘mpl_toolkits.basemap'” error, as highlighted in the main article, can be frustrating and prevent you from using the package entirely.

It’s essential to install the Basemap package correctly because it is not only required for the creation of maps in Python but also because it depends on the installation of other packages such as NumPy and Matplotlib. In addition, installing the package correctly ensures that all the required dependencies are installed, and there are no conflicts with other installed packages that may cause errors later.

Furthermore, being able to install the Basemap package correctly shows that you have a mastery of pip, which is the most commonly used package manager for all Python packages. Therefore, it is an essential step in becoming a proficient Python developer.

How to install the Basemap package? To install the Basemap package in your Python environment, you should follow these steps:

Step 1: Check the version of Python installed on your computer using the command below:


python –version


Step 2: Ensure that pip is installed on your system by running the following command:


pip –version


Step 3: If Pip is not installed, install it using the following command:


python -m ensurepip –default-pip


Step 4: To install the Basemap package, use the following command:


pip install basemap


Step 5: Verify the installation by running the following command in a Python console:


from mpl_toolkits.basemap import Basemap


If the installation is successful, you will not get any errors. Note: If you encounter issues during installation, there may be missing dependencies needed by the Basemap package.

However, pip will display error messages indicating the missing dependencies, which can then be installed using the pip install command. In conclusion, the ability to install the Basemap package successfully is essential for Python developers interested in creating data visualizations on maps.

With the increased demand for geospatial data analysis, it’s clear that Basemap provides the necessary tools to explore and visualize such data in Python. Understanding how to install the Basemap package in your Python environment correctly is a vital step in mastering Python and becoming a proficient data analyst.

In conclusion, the “ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘mpl_toolkits.basemap'” error is a common issue experienced by users of the Basemap package in Python. To address the problem and help users fix it correctly, this article has identified the primary causes of the error and the appropriate solutions.

Correctly installing the Basemap package is essential for creating data visualizations on maps, which is increasingly becoming critical for geospatial data analysis. Mastering how to install the Basemap package using pip enhances a user’s proficiency in Python, and it helps eliminate errors and problems associated with wrongly installed packages.

Remember to always confirm the version of Python installed on your computer, install pip if necessary, avoid virtual environment errors, and ensure you use the correct interpreter version when using an IDE.

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