Installing the InVEST Python Package


Most users will want to install the InVEST app (Mac disk image or Windows installer) from the InVEST download page. The instructions here are for more advanced use cases.

The InVEST package is available for installation from three distribution channels:

  1. As a precompiled binary in the conda-forge ecosystem (conda-forge, feedstock)

  2. As a binary wheel or source package from the Python Package Index

  3. As a source installation, directly from our git source tree

Note that installing the python package does not include a user interface.

Suggested Method: conda-forge

The easiest way to install natcap.invest is using the conda or mamba package managers:

mamba install -c conda-forge natcap.invest

If you prefer to use conda, the command is otherwise the same:

conda install -c conda-forge natcap.invest

Installing with pip

The natcap.invest package is also available from the Python Package Index and installable with pip. Binary builds of natcap.invest are available for 64-bit x86 architectures and also as a source distribution. Note that if you have a computer with a non-x86-compatible architecture (such as a Mac with one of the M-series chips), you will either need to have a compiler installed or you will want to install natcap.invest from conda-forge (see above).

To install natcap.invest via pip:

pip install natcap.invest

Note that pip install natcap.invest will fail with a compilation error if GDAL is not already installed. natcap.invest depends on the underlying GDAL binaries, which cannot be installed via pip. For details on installing GDAL on your system, see

Errors Compiling GDAL

If you see one of these errors, you need to install GDAL:

  • FileNotFoundError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: 'gdal-config'

  • gdal_config_error: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: 'gdal-config'

It is also possible to have a compatible version of GDAL installed, but for pip to try to compile the GDAL bindings anyways. This happens when a newer version of the GDAL python bindings are available on the Python Package Index than are installed on your system. The error message you see will look something like this:

    bool CPL_DLL GDALDatasetAddFieldDomain(GDALDatasetH hDS,
    fatal error: too many errors emitted, stopping now [-ferror-limit=]
    1 warning and 20 errors generated.
    error: command '/usr/bin/clang' failed with exit code 1
    [end of output]

note: This error originates from a subprocess, and is likely not a problem with pip.
ERROR: Failed building wheel for GDAL
Running clean for GDAL

To work around this error when you have a compatible version of GDAL already installed, instruct pip to only upgrade packages if needed:

pip install natcap.invest --upgrade-strategy=only-if-needed

Installing from source


To install the natcap.invest package from source, you must have a C/C++ compiler installed and configured for your system. MacOS and Linux users should not need to do anything. Windows users should install Microsoft Visual Studio, or at least the Build Tools for Visual Studio, if they have not already. See the python wiki page on compilation under Windows for more information.

If you are looking for the latest unreleased changes to InVEST, you can use the latest changes in the source tree. This approach requires both a C/C++ compiler and git to be available on your system:

pip install "git+"

Note that GDAL must be installed on your system before installing in this way. For details on installing GDAL, see


Dependencies for natcap.invest are listed in requirements.txt and included here for your reference. Your package manager should, under most circumstances, handle the dependency resolution for you.

Pyro4==4.77  # pip-only
pygeoprocessing>=2.4.2  # pip-only