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For newer QGIS versions, an option is to use an adaption of the solutions proposed to Colouring points in the same colour as their nearest point/polygon from another layer in QGIS. With overlay_nearest(), you can address features on another layer or the current layer, using the variable @layer. The basic is to use the new overlay expressions, available since ...


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The following open access paper by Timofey Samsonov (2014) proposes a nice approach, although it would require you to do coding as well. Morphometric Mapping of Topography by Flowline Hachures


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