[gdal-dev] Looking for advice on finding neighboring features

Kenn Sebesta kenn at wifi-bourgogne.com
Tue Dec 2 10:15:16 EST 2008

I've got a project at the University of Luxembourg where I need to calculate
elevation profiles of arbitrary trajectories that are contained on a finite
list of paths. I will use this in a custom application for a controls
experiment I'm working on. I've got a shapefile that contains all the
possible paths as lines (with altitude information) from the local mapping

I'm terribly new to GIS, but so far I've managed to get GDAL working on my
machine and extract the XY coordinates of the features. What I'm trying to
do now is find the best way to identify what features, i.e. path segments,
are in an immediate neighborhood of the current location. This is especially
critical when in areas where lines cross, but paths do not, e.g. bridges and

Is there any way to do this with a shapefile and GDAL? I've looked through
the API so far, but it's a little confusing since I'm new to all the
terminology. If not, what should I be using? I had thought a raster map
might do it, but that seems like a lot of extra work if I can do it quickly
and efficiently with a shapefile.

Kenn Sebesta
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