Unit 11 - Scripting

Let’s start with script created by Graphical modeler in Unit 10 saved into file. Before saving the script we will remove the lines below to avoid generating GUI dialogs when launching the script.

#% description: NDVI model version 2

Then we can try to run a script from Layer Manager grass-script-load Launch user-defined script main toolbar.


Before starting a script GRASS can ask you to add script directory path into GRASS_ADDON_PATH. It can be useful if you will run script(s) from this directory more often. Then you don’t need to define full path to the scripts, its name will be enough.


Fig. 77 Register script directory into GRASS Addon Path.

We select script to run, the command output will be printed in Layer Manager Console tab.


Fig. 78 Script output printed in Layer Manager Console.

We can modify the script based Unit 10 - Python intro in order to print basic statistics: minimum, maximum, and mean NDVI values. You can use your favorite editor or if your do not have any than GRASS integrated Python editor grass-python Open a simple Python code editor is probably the most simple choice. Load script by grass-open Open and start modifying it.


Fig. 79 Simple GRASS Python code editor in action.

We add code for printing NDVI value statistics (be aware of indentation), see Unit 10.

stats = parse_command('r.univar', flags='g', map='ndvi')
print ('-' * 80)
print ('NDVI value statistics')
print ('-' * 80)
print ('NDVI min value: {0:.4f}'.format(float(stats['min'])))
print ('NDVI max value: {0:.4f}'.format(float(stats['max'])))
print ('NDVI mean value: {0:.4f}'.format(float(stats['mean'])))


In order to use core.parse_command, the function must be imported.

from grass.script import parser, run_command, parse_command

Launch script by grass-execute Run and see script output in Layer Manager Console tab.


Fig. 80 Run script from Python editor.

We could also print statistics for NDVI classes. Class area size can be easily computed by v.report.

print ('-' * 80)
print ('NDVI class statistics')
print ('-' * 80)
ret = read_command('v.report', map='ndvi_vector', option='area')
for line in ret.splitlines()[1:]: # skip first line (cat|label|area)
    # parse line (eg. 1||2712850)
    data = line.split('|')
    cat = data[0]
    area = float(data[-1])
    print ('NDVI class {0}: {1:.1f} ha'.format(cat, area/1e4))

Output of v.report module need to be parsed. Unfortunately the command does not offer shell script output similarly to r.univar, so we cannot use core.parse_command. We will implement our own parsing technique based on Python functions like splitlines() and split().


Don’t forget to import core.read_command command.

from grass.script import parser, run_command, parse_command, read_command

Than we can also compute NDVI zonal statistics for each class:

  • zonal statistics can be computed by v.rast.stats and stored in attribute table
  • attributes can be printed by v.db.select
# v.to.rast: use -c flag for updating statistics if exists
run_command('v.rast.stats', flags='c', map='ndvi_vector', raster='ndvi',
            column_prefix='ndvi', method='minimum,maximum,average')
# v.db.select: don't print column names (-c)
ret = read_command('v.db.select', flags='c', map='ndvi_vector', separator='comma')
for line in ret.splitlines():
    # parse line (eg. 1,,-0.433962264150943,0.740350877192983,0.051388909449992)
    cat,label,min,max,mean = line.split(',')
    print ('NDVI class {0}: {1:.4f} (min) {2:.4f} (max) {3:.4f} (mean)'.format(
    cat, float(min), float(max), float(mean)))

Example of script output below.

NDVI value statistics
NDVI min value: -0.6094
NDVI max value: 0.9997
NDVI mean value: 0.6485
NDVI class statistics
NDVI class 1: 271.3 ha
NDVI class 2: 2438.7 ha
NDVI class 3: 7561.0 ha
NDVI class 1: -0.4340 (min) 0.7404 (max) 0.0514 (mean)
NDVI class 2: -0.1738 (min) 0.8547 (max) 0.3262 (mean)
NDVI class 3: -0.6094 (min) 0.9997 (max) 0.7740 (mean)


In order to simplify testing and increase code readability we can split code into two functions: compute() and stats().

def main():

    return 0

Sample script to download: ndvi-v2.py