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Python Geospatial Analysis Essentials by Erik Westra

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Unlocking the shapefile

At last, we are ready to start working with some geospatial data. Open up a command line or terminal window and cd into the TM_WORLD_BORDERS-0.3 directory you unzipped earlier. Then type python to fire up your Python interpreter.

We're going to start by loading the OGR library we installed earlier:

>>> import osgeo.ogr

We next want to open the shapefile using OGR:

>>> shapefile = osgeo.ogr.Open("TM_WORLD_BORDERS-0.3.shp")

After executing this statement, the shapefile variable will hold an osgeo.ogr.Datasource object representing the geospatial data source we have opened. OGR data sources can support multiple layers of information, even though a shapefile has only a single layer. For this reason, we next need to extract the ...

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