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An elevation map shows elevation data with color. The color doesn't reflect the natural landscape (it is not a satellite map), but all the points at a certain altitude have the same color. Sometimes, contour lines are added at regular altitude interval to show the steepness: if two lines are close from each other, the slope is steep. Here are some example:
To make these maps, I used data used are from NASA (SRTM 1 and 3), and LandSerf. I provide a Jupyter Notebook that downloads the data from the NASA website and produces the scripts to be executed by LandSerf, so these maps are done in a few seconds.
If you want to read the raw data from NASA, and get an image out of them without LandSerf, check out my
Before the notebook, I used Perl scripts, also provided in the code.