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Here's an example in Python

from rospkg import RosPack

def find_abs_pkg_path(pkg_name):
    """Returns the absolute path of the package with name pkg_name."""

    # Get an instance of RosPack with the default search paths
    ros_pack = RosPack()
    return ros_pack.get_path(pkg_name)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    PKG_PATH = find_abs_pkg_path("my_package")
    print "path of ROS package my_package", PKG_PATH