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Course Materials

Python exercises

Dr. Huidae Cho
Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis...University of North Georgia

1   Arithmetic calculator

Keywords: keyboard input, looping, slicing, branching


Write a simple calculator that supports four basic arithmetic operations (+, -, *, and /) for two floating-point numbers.

  1. Print “? ” and read an expression
  2. If the expression is quit, stop
  3. Split the expression into three parts: left operand, operator, and right operand
  4. Branch based on the operator
  5. Calculate the expression and print its result
  6. Go to step 1

2   Dice rolling

Keywords: keyboard input, probability, random()


Python provides a pseudo-random number generator in the random module. We’ll use the random() function from this module to write a dice rolling simulator. This function takes no arguments and returns a pseudo-random float between $[0,1)$. That is, $0\le\text{random()}<1$. The workflow of this program should be as follows:

  1. Print “Roll? ” and read a string input
  2. If the input is quit, stop
  3. Take a random number from random()
  4. Print one of 1–6 based on the random number from step 3
  5. Go to step 1

Do NOT use randint(). Only use these three functions: random(), print(), and input().

3   HTTP client

Keywords: http, http.client, open


Write a simple HTTP client that downloads https://prd-tnm.s3.amazonaws.com/StagedProducts/Elevation/13/ArcGrid/USGS_NED_13_n34w085_ArcGrid.zip and saves it as USGS_NED_13_n34w085_ArcGrid.zip.

4   Recursive factorial


Write a factorial function that recursively calls itself to calculate and return the factorial of an integer. \begin{align*} n!&=n\times(n-1)!\\ 0!&=1 \end{align*}

5   Circle equation

Keywords: math


The following is an equation of a circle with radius $r$ centered at $(0,0)$ in an $x$-$y$ plane: \[x^2+y^2=r^2.\]

  1. Express this equation in radius $r$ and angle $\theta$.
  2. Write a function that returns $y$ when $r$ and $x$ are passed to it as arguments.
  3. Write a function that returns $r$ and $\theta$ when $x$ and $y$ are given.

6   Draw circles

Keywords: turtle, tkinter


Draw a circle using trigonometry and the turtle module.


Draw a circle using trigonometry and the tkinter module.

7   Read and write GeoTIFF files

Keywords: matplotlib.pyplot, PIL.Image


  1. Read elevation.tif in nc_spm_08_grass7_exercise.zip and plot it.
  2. Save the GeoTIFF file as elevation_new.tif and compare the original and new files.
  3. Calculate its extent using TIFF tags

8   Moving average

Keywords: numpy, matplotlib.pyplot, PIL.Image


  1. Read elevation.tif in nc_spm_08_grass7_exercise.zip as a numpy array
  2. Calculate the moving average of nine neighbor cells
  3. Create movavg.tif with the moving average result

9   Read and write shapefiles

Keywords: geopandas, shapely


Read and plot boundary_county.shp, roadsmajor.shp, and schools_wake.shp in nc_spm_08_grass7_exercise.zip.

shapefile_write.py Create new shapefiles polys.shp, lines.shp, and points.shp with some geometries.

10   Vector analysis

Keywords: geopandas, shapely


  1. Create 500-meter buffers around schools_wake.shp in nc_spm_08_grass7_exercise.zip
  2. Clip roadsmajor.shp in nc_spm_08_grass7_exercise.zip to the buffers
  3. Select the roadsmajor features that intersect with the school buffers
  4. Save both results into new shapefiles roads_clip.shp and roads_sel.shp, respectively
  5. Plot the roads, school buffers, schools, selected roads, and clipped roads in this order

11   EarthExplorer client

Keywords: json


Sign up for a USGS EarthExplorer account and write a script that can download data using their JSON API.

  1. Send a JSON request using the POST method for retreiving an API key
  2. Parse the JSON response to extract the API key
  3. Send JSON requests using the GET method for downloading your data

12   Conway’s game of life

Keywords: matplotlib.animation.FuncAnimation


Write Conway’s game of life.

13   Moving ball

Keywords: tkinter


  1. Draw a blue ball
  2. Make the ball move in a diagonal direction
  3. Allow it to bounce off of the walls
  4. Control the ball using the arrow keys

14   Quiz: Average elevation

Keywords: matplotlib.pyplot, PIL.Image, geopandas, shapely


In this analysis, we want to calculate the average elevation of a certain census tract.

  1. Read elevation.tif and census_wake2000.shp in nc_spm_08_grass7_exercise.zip
  2. Plot elevation.tif and overlay census_wake2000.shp
  3. Calculate the average elevation of the census tract 25
  4. Print its result using the format f'Tract ID:\t{tract_id}\nCount:\t\t{count}\nTotal:\t\t{total}\nAverage:\t{total/count}'