Elevation map script with USGS/NASA data

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:

Mount Etna (Sicilia)

Mount Saint-Helens (United States)

Mount Vesuvius (Naples, Italy)

Peloponese (Greece)

La Reunion (island in the Indian Ocean)

Lac Tahoe (United-States)

Martinique (island in the Caribbean)


Crete (Greece)

Honolulu (Hawaii): notice the landing runway of the airport



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.

download jupyter download code view github repo

If you want to read the raw data from NASA, and get an image out of them without LandSerf, check out my hgt2pnm project.

Before the notebook, I used Perl scripts, also provided in the code.