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Python Geospatial Development - Second Edition by Erik Westra

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Visualizing geospatial data

It's very hard, if not impossible, to understand geospatial data unless it is turned into a visual form—that is, until it is rendered as an image of some sort. Converting geospatial data into images requires a suitable toolkit. While there are several such toolkits available, we will look at one in particular: Mapnik.

Mapnik

Mapnik is a freely-available toolkit for building mapping applications. It takes geospatial data from a PostGIS database, shapefile, or any other format supported by GDAL/OGR, and turns it into clearly-rendered, good-looking images.

There are a lot of complex issues involved in rendering maps well, and Mapnik does a good job of allowing the application developer to control the rendering process. Rules ...

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