To get started with the labs you need to make sure you have a version of Python installed on your machine. The best way to do this is to download and install the Anacondo distribution, a software package that will install Python along with commonly used packages. There are similar alternatives out there and you could also do a custom install, but if you're new to Python and programming, we highly recommend Anaconda. Further instructions will be directed toward those using Anaconda, but everything will work with old installs too.

Step 1:

Get Anaconda by following the directions here: Anaconda download. Please choose the full Anaconda/Conda distribution, not Miniconda. Complete the install.

Step 2:

Now you need to download the lab package. The link below will take you to a web repository with all of the code required for all three labs. By clicking on the green Clone or download button in the upper right-hand corner of the table of files, you will download the whole folder to the destination specified in your browser preferences. It will be convenient to have this folder on your desktop so please move it there after you've finished downloading it.

Github repository

Step 3:

Now that you've installed Anaconda, open the application named Anaconda-Navigator. It will open a window with a menu on the left. In the Home menu item you'll see several tiles. Click launch on the tile named jupyter notebook. This will run a script in your terminal or command prompt which itself opens a new tab in your default internet browser.

Step 4:

In the browser tab, you'll need to navigate to wherever you've placed the folder you downloaded in Step 2. You can just point and click through the folder hierarchy to get to it. Once there, double click on the file named "Lab 1 - Introduction to Python with JSON and network data.ipynb" and start reading.