Digital Geography

The Atom Code Editor

There is this time of the year when the presents are unboxed and the new year hasn’t started yet, when a lot of people (including me) find some time for tinkering on personal projects. And I guess I am not the only one around here who is working on software projects. But because a proper code editor can make a huge difference,  I want to introduce you to my favorite tool for the job: Atom, a free, open source, modern and extensible, cross platform editor.

Free Sources of Geospatial Raster Data

I’m always looking for good sources of free data, so I thought I would post a few here in case they were useful to others. The sources listed below tend to be larger providers of regional to global level data, however, please post suggestions in the comments if there are other sources you like and think should be added. I had initially planned to include vector data here, but I think that will be another post as this one got quite long. SAR Data Free Synthetic Aperture Radar data can be some of the hardest to find, but it is…

Python for Geospatial Data Analysis (Part III)

Writing Geospatial Files In the last post in this thread I began discussing basic syntax and how to open and read a geospatial raster file. This installment in the series will demonstrate how to take the data we read from the file and write it out to a new file. In this case, we won’t change anything in the data, just use it as a means to demonstrate writing a file. In order to write a file, there needs to be a small addition to the subroutine for reading data. In the previous post the subroutine didn’t return the data…

Python for Geospatial Data Analysis (Part II)

Reading Geospatial Files In the last post in this thread I provided a bit of background and some simple instructions for installing python and the necessary modules for geospatial analysis. In this post I will cover some basic python syntax and reading raster data from a geospatial file. Let’s get started. Python files typically end in the extension .py. In a OSX/Linux environment, the first line in your file should be the interpreter you want to use. On my macbook, my python executable is /opt/local/bin/python, so the first line of my file is After this, you need to load the…

Python for Geospatial Data Analysis (Part I)

For my first post on digital-geography.com I wanted to begin a discussion on a topic I have strong feelings about, Python. A common question I get from students and experienced colleagues is “What analysis environment do you use?”. Where I work most people use either IDL/Envi or Matlab for raster data analysis. These are good packages, with many advanced capabilities, but they can be restrictive. IDL or Matlab code can be difficult to move from system to system or share with others because both environments require licenses that can be quite expensive. That is particularly a problem if you are…