Want to contribute to the hips package?

Great! Talk to us by filing a Github issue any time (it doesn’t have to be a concrete feature request or bug report).

This package was created using the Astropy affiliated package template, and everything works pretty much as in Astropy and most affiliated packages.

We didn’t write any developer docs specifically for this package yet. For now, check out the Astropy core package developer docs, or just talk to us if you have any questions.

Install development version

Install the latest development version from :

git clone
cd hips
pip install .

Then run the tests with either of these commands:

python -m pytest -v hips
python test -V

To run all tests and get a coverage report:

python test -V --remote-data --coverage

To build the documentation, do:

python build_docs

Get the hips-extra test datasets

To run tests accessing files from hips-extra repository:

git clone

Developers must have it cloned on their system, otherwise some test cases will be skipped. This contains tiles from different HiPS surveys which are used by the drawing module. After this, the HIPS_EXTRA environment variable must be set up on their system. On UNIX operating systems, this can be set using

export HIPS_EXTRA=path/to/hips-extra

Why only Python 3?

This package requires Python 3.6 or later.

It will not work with Python 2.7 or 3.5!

This was a choice we made when starting this package in summer of 2017, at a time when Jupyter had just made their Python 3 only release and other packages we depend on (like Astropy) were about to drop support for legacy Python (Python 2).

Supporting only Python 3 means we e.g. get these benefits:

  • async / await for asynchronous HiPS tile fetching (introduced in Python 3.5)
  • Keyword-only arguments (introduced in Python 3.0)
  • Type annotations (some only introduced in Python 3.6)
  • f-strings (introduced in Python 3.6)

At the moment, the only Python 3.6 only feature we use are f-strings, so if several potential users that are on Python 3.5 and can’t easily upgrade for some reason complain, we might consider supporting Python 3.5 in the next release.