Elevation data can often provide a complete dataset for analysis and derivative products without any other data. In this chapter, you learned to read and write ASCII Grids using only NumPy. You also learned to create shaded reliefs, slope grids, and aspect grids. We created elevation contours using a little-known feature of the GDAL library available for Python. We transformed LIDAR data into an easy-to-manipulate ASCII Grid. We experimented with different ways to visualize the LIDAR data with the PIL. Finally, we created a 3D surface or TIN by turning a LIDAR point cloud into a 3D shapefile of polygons.
In the next chapter, we'll combine the building blocks from the previous three chapters to perform some advanced modeling and actually create some information products.