The first milestone in our journey has been reached! I just completed the visualizing library for viewing your shapefiles. It is very easy to install, simple to use, and can be used in many flexible ways. I have written more about it elsewhere, and besides the project GitHub frontpage describes and documents it quite well, so I will not go into depth about it right now. So you can either check it out from the Downloads page, or go directly to its Github repository.
The Python-GIS Challenge is a series of open-source projects to connect and integrate many of Python’s existing spatial extensions into a single easy-to-use library. Each project will focus on a particular GIS-related field and will be made available for free download once it is completed. This website will document the progress, challenges, and setbacks experienced along this journey.