For problems with any analysis please read below:

The 10 commandments of SDMtoolbox

  1. Thou shall not include spaces in path or file names
  2. Thou shall avoid non-alphanumeric characters in file names, headings and table values
    • avoid: * : \ / < > | ” ? [ ] ; = + & £ $ , etc
  3. Thou shall have map projection defined
    • make sure all input data are properly projected and in the same projection (also see ‘A First Run‘ for details on this)
  4. Thou shall limit table headings to 12 or less characters
    • Sometimes scripts use table headings, often ArcGIS reduces these name to 12 (or less) characters in analyses and confuses its self or input code that calls the full name
  5. Thou shall not install an alternative version of Python
  6. Thou shall have an appropriate ArcGIS license
    • For full functionality, ArcMap version MUST be Standard or Advance license level with Spatial Analyst Extension
  7. Thou shall try provided example data corresponding to tool
    • If the example data work, but yours do not, there is a problem with your input parameters or files- compare your inputs to the provided inputs
  8. Thou shall read SDMtoolbox error messages
    • The red text is ArcMap’s error text, SDMtoolbox often has its own more, specific error codes preceding (highlighted below)ScreenShot003
  9. When a tool fails, thou shall not rerun analyses without deleting all files in output folder or changing to a new output folder
  10. Thou shall remedy all these items before emailing SDMtoobox. When emailing SDMtoolbox, thou shall include detailed information regarding the problem(s), include screenshots of errors and information regarding input data
    • I usually cannot help you with out this information

If these tips don’t solve your issue(s), feel free to contact us at:

SDMtoolbox User Forum and Google Group [this is the fastest way to get answers to most questions].


Due to the volume of emails I receive, ONLY emails regarding topics directly related to the function of SDMtoolbox (or errors associated with it) will be answered.  Thus, any topic regarding the general theory of modeling etc. and discussion of methods will be disregarded. Thanks again for your interest in SDMtoolbox and species distribution modeling.