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I have a 3D network of streams represented using linestrings with Z-coordinates. I would like to rasterise this feature, where the raster values represent the linearly interpolated Z-values between 3D coordinates from the linestring verticies. I have all open source and Esri tools available, but I don't see any simple solution.

Did I miss an available tool to do this conversion, or do I need to make one myself? (I have a few ideas floating around my head, but it would probably take the better part of an afternoon to code out.)

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It would be nice to know this answer. I used to convert polyline to evenly spaced points and than to raster. –  Tomek Jun 26 '12 at 7:52
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've not tried it, but GDAL's gdal_rasterize should do the trick with its -3d option:

gdal_rasterize -3d -tr 10.0 10.0 -l streams streams.shp streams.tif
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Cool. It does work for me. Thanks. –  Tomek Jun 26 '12 at 12:21
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This is a really excellent tool! It also has an API "GDALRasterizeLayers" with intriguing options; for Python, see help(gdal.RasterizeLayer) –  Mike T Jun 26 '12 at 22:57
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