I have around 100 shapefiles of contours (1m interval) that I need to turn into DEMs; Is there a way to batch create these mde from contour lines? Using open source preferably.
Yes, you can do that in GRASS GIS: patch them together with v.patch (or use ogr2ogr on the SHAPE file before importing them into GRASS with v.in.ogr), then use your preferred algorithm from http://grass.osgeo.org/wiki/Contour_lines_to_DEM
Important: combine the maps before generating the DEM from it to avoid artefacts at the tile borders.
You can use the SAGA CMD tools, which let you process shapefiles and get interpolated DEMs in a batch mode, both on Linux and Windows. Shapefiles are accessed by default in SAGA, and as interpolators, you have the possibility to choose from several spline algorithms or TIN. The DEM will be saved in SAGA format (.sgrd), but after you can export it to .asc or any other GDAL supportable format. Also in GRASS you can do the job, by creating a .sh scripts. You can use a for each code.