Scripting and Automation

Python is the scripting language of choice for the ArcGIS platform. Analysis, visualization, organization management tasks, and more can be scripted and automated.

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Why Script ArcGIS with Python?

Python is a free, cross-platform, open-source programming language that is powerful, yet simple to learn. Python is a key language that fulfills the needs of the Esri user community.

Easy to use

Simple and intuitive for beginners, powerful and rich for experts.


Leverage the rich Python ecosystem and integrate ArcGIS with conda to easily make use of third party libraries for scientific computing.


Highly scalable and suitable for large projects or smaller ad-hoc tasks.


Uses modern techniques and optimized practices that take advantage of ArcGIS platform capabilities.

What Options Do I Have for Scripting ArcGIS with Python?

The ArcGIS platform provides two technologies for scripting and automation:

The ArcGIS API for Python and ArcPy can be used individually or together to power your GIS needs.

ArcGIS API for Python

The ArcGIS API for Python automates, controls, drives and is powered by your Web GIS. It can be installed on any computer and works with both ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Server via REST.

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ArcPy lets Python developers productively accomplish both high level as well as detailed work by delivering a comprehensive suite of compelling geographic analysis, data management, data conversion and map automation functionality. ArcPy is part of, used with, and powered by a locally installed ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, ArcGIS Server or ArcGIS Engine.

Learn more about ArcPy