For questions about Digital Elevation Models (DEM), Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and Digital Surface Models (DSM)

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60
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7answers
83k views

What is the difference between DEM, DSM and DTM?

I am listing some of the acronyms used in our work and had to stop to think about whether to list these together or separately: DEM: Digital Elevation Model DSM: Digital Surface Model DTM: Digital ...
32
votes
7answers
24k views

Choosing colour-ramp to use for elevation?

This is maybe rather subjective as it concerns style, but I would like to have a few decent colour ramps for my DEM when it is layed over my hill-shading. I have created the Swiss hillshade model as ...
31
votes
4answers
10k views

How to smooth a DEM?

I have a SRTM DEM and I want to create a shaded relief from it. I created the shaded relief in GRASS and the result is very nice, but a little rough becouse the area is near flat and the DEM is 90m in ...
26
votes
2answers
8k views

Proper workflow for LAS to DEM conversion

I regularly come across LiDAR (.LAS) files with elevation data. When I do, I always struggle to find a way of converting them to a DEM for hydrological analysis. I have developed several workflows, ...
24
votes
4answers
5k views

How to calculate terrain Curvature?

I have an elevation raster and I would like to get some basic terrain variables, such as slope, ruggedness, aspect or curvature. The problem is that I don't seem to have the possibility to calculate ...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

How to generate a random but believable digital elevation model?

Is there a way to generate a DEM, programatically or otherwise (arcpy or R?), that will feed into ArcGIS for further spatial analysis? Perhaps this needs to be broken down into smaller incremental ...
21
votes
4answers
17k views

Creating DEM from contours in QGIS?

Is it possible to make a DEM from contours in QGIS? I have a shp file (contours) and their heights, can I use QGIS for produce a DEM without using GRASS? I found this creating a dem from contours ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

How to create transparent hillshade?

I get elegant transparent hillshades via a combination gdal and convert. Compare to grey-based hillshade commonly used, such transparent hillshades are very cool because they can be placed between the ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

How to produce high-resolution DEMs from new Sentinel-1 data?

This is a general question relating to the new Sentinel-1 data. I'm interested in the potential for using this data to create high resolution DEMs in GIS (I use QGIS), to investigate archaeological ...
15
votes
10answers
32k views

Converting XYZ files (with regularly spaced xy) to ESRI GRID format?

Normally consultants (LiDAR survey) provide me with data to my specifications; already in ESRI GRID or ASCII GRID format. This way LiDAR data can be easily used with ArcGIS. This time I only have xyz ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Generating contours from DEM using GDAL?

We have just received a large set of DEMs at work and I would like to generate contours from them. The DEMs have a resolution of 1m and a size of 1kmx1km. Output from gdalinfo: Driver: AAIGrid/Arc/...
14
votes
3answers
572 views

Account for bridge overpasses in a ground DEM to allow for water flow under the overpass

I have a bare earth DEM made from lidar data (A). It works well and has passed all accuracy tests. It is used in storm surge models. The problem we are having is on underpasses. I need to allow water ...
13
votes
5answers
903 views

Dikes extraction from DEM

I do have DEM of 1x1 meter and original LiDAR point cloud in .las, that DEM is made of. I need to extract river dikes (highest points of the dikes) to vector feature (point, polyline). Any idea for ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

Shaded relief from DEM in GRASS and QGIS

I have been trying to get a good looking shaded relief model out of GRASS and Qgis for a day or so now and just can't seem to get it. The biggest problem I'm having is the valleys look like mountains,...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Detrending DEMs? - Removing the elevation trend over sloped surfaces (diagram included)

Is there a known methodology for removing the trend from a DEM surface? For example, if I had a DEM of a river, that river would flow from high elevation (upstream) to lower elevations (downstream). ...
13
votes
1answer
666 views

Creating nanoscale DEM with GDAL

A bit of a strange question perhaps, but let me give you a breif explanation of the background before my actual questions: Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a method that, in short (and to my limited ...
12
votes
4answers
8k views

Using SRTM Global DEM for Slope calculation?

I have downloaded SRTM GDEM (~90 km resolution). I am using ArcGIS 10. I have tried to use spatial analyst to compute for slope. However, I can not compute for the slope. The output values has ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to manually correct a raster DEM (OpenSource)?

Is it possible, to correct a raster DEM by changeing the raster-cell-values manually, like by "painting"? My DEM (ASTER) have one small error where the elevation is about 300m below the actual ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Comparing two Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) from LAS files?

I have two Lidar las files, one is original let's say with X points. And the other is copy of the first las file but with Y points, where Y is less than X. Now, I want to compare how the Digital ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

What software to use for making digital elevation models from UAV aerial imagery?

I have a an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, also called a drone) and would like to use it to create a digital elevation model and orthomosaic over a smaller area (10 km2). My platform will be able to ...
12
votes
2answers
916 views

PostGIS interpolation / triangulation options

I'm looking for an open source workflow to automate DEM construction. We have a series of sites that fall within a LIDAR dataset. We want to create site specific DEM's for each site, and we're ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

Burning stream network into DEM layer using ArcGIS Desktop?

I am working on a DEM that in an area where there is little relief. I would like to 'burn' the river network into the DEM so I can calculate flow accumulation and flow length accurately. I am ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Code to calculate elevation profile along line from a DEM

Given a DEM (Digital Elevation Model) say in and a line (x1,y1) --> (x2,y2) (paired coordinates (x,y)), how can one calculate the elevation profile or cross-section projected on that line ? I am ...
11
votes
1answer
10k views

When to use IDW vs Kriging Interpolation for DEM creation?

I'm trying to create a DEM using point data spaced very regularly about 10m apart. The area I am interpolating is an educational facility with many flat parking lots and football fields but still has ...
11
votes
2answers
482 views

Understanding min and max values with Mosaic to New Raster?

I have to combine several DEM rasters into one from this source: http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org/SELECTION/inputCoord.asp, so I use Mosaic to New Raster tool. I set up the tool: I input the rasters (all ...
11
votes
1answer
681 views

QGis raster terrain analysis - The curvature filter puzzles me

I am a french Master student at university Grenoble INP, and during my master project I have worked on DEM (raster) terrain analysis. Thus, I have read the source code of several QGis-1.7.4 raster ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Definitive source for downloading DEM data

USGS has been moving towards serving data through The National Map Viewer. They have several WMServices through their website that serve elevation data to the public (hillshade & DEM). The ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Surface distance on DEM between two coordinates

Given two coordinates on a digital elevation model (DEM), how do I compute the actual distance traveled between the two locations, assuming a straight line route? How will changing the resolution of ...
10
votes
3answers
486 views

How to create composite hillshade?

The concept of composite hillshade is to combine multiple hillshades with different sunlight orientation to avoid blind spot. It requires to merge 3 hillshades images with 315⁰ (NW sunlight, default ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Create DEM from stereo pairs using ArcGIS for Desktop or Open Source GIS?

Does ArcGIS Desktop or any of its native extensions allow me to create DEMs from stereo pairs (acquired by satellite, GeoEye 1)? If the answer is a clear no, brownie points will go to an answer that ...
10
votes
1answer
22k views

creating a dem from contours

I have a large set of contours that I received broken down into several different subsets. I have merged most of the subsets together creating a larger set of contours in three different files. I have ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How to extract breaklines from a given DEM?

Breaklines are very useful for describing a terrain - for example to build an exact TIN. My question is, how to extract these breaklines from a given DEM? I calculated the curvature (vertical) - ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How to build an artificial 'dam' across a river?

I have a DEM. Created all files related to watershed including accumulation, direction, streams etc... I'm stuck creating a dam. I request you to please let me know how to build an artificial 'dam' ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any open source tools to detect and fill sinks on a DEM?

Are there any open source or inexpensive tools to detect and fill sinks on a DEM? ArcGIS Spatial Analyst is just out of my price range.
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Best method to aggregate 1m DEM mosaic to 10m DEM

I have a mosaic of a 1m LiDar derived DEM. I need to output a subset of the data as a 10m DEM. I am currently using the aggregate tool in ARCGIS 10 to produce a mean value for each new 10m pixel. ...
9
votes
7answers
12k views

Open source tool to convert a DEM to a 3D model

I would like to convert a DEM (Digitial Elevation Model) file (e.g. from SRTM) into a 3D model that I can then edit with regular 3D modeling tools (e.g. Meshlab/Blender/etc.). However I'm using Ubuntu ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the smallest contour interval possible when derived from a DTM?

I am converting a 2m DTM to contours, and would like to have the smallest interval possible. Is there a theoretical limit, or even a rule of thumb for defining contour intervals based on the ...
9
votes
2answers
254 views

Cleaning blocks pattern from urban LIDAR (blocks uplifted from streets)

We have a 1-meter LIDAR DEM from a city. A small subset can be downloaded from this link: This screenshot shows raw DEM with gray palette (darker belts are streets, and greyish and whitish ...
9
votes
1answer
27k views

How to calculate an elevation profile for a polyline in arcgis 10 with spatial analyst/3D analyst?

My elevation data is a floating point tif. I have a road for which I need to calculate the elevation profile, but I can´t see the tools to do this. Can I do this with ArcGIS? yours, Rob
9
votes
5answers
3k views

How to aquire a topographical map of Britain?

First of all, let me say that I know next to nothing about GISs. I'm trying to find / make / aquire a topographical map of britain. I want to use it as a height map in Dwarf Fortress so it needs to ...
9
votes
2answers
769 views

Elevation profile sample point algorithm

In generating an elevation profile, samples from the underlying raster must be taken. If the objective is to create a profile of maximum quality, how should the locations of sample points be ...
9
votes
7answers
41k views

Extracting raster DEM elevations to vector attribute tables in ArcGIS Desktop?

I have an ArcMap 10 project with multiple layer groups. One layer is a raster DEM, another layer group is a bunch of vector shapefiles (including points, lines and polygons). The client wants all ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Extract the area of a DEM above where 60% of the region lies?

I have a DEM of a mountainous region. I'd like to extract the areas of the DEM above which 60% of the total DEM area lies. So, essentially I'd like to extract the areas representing upper portions of ...
8
votes
5answers
360 views

How to ensure uniform colour for DEMs?

This is a silly question, but one I've been trying to figure out for a while. I have two Aster DEM tiles, one next to the other. How do I ensure uniform colour for both?
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Workflow for determining stream gradient?

As far as data goes, I'm working with NHD .shp files, 10m DEMs, and some LIDAR data. My goal is to determine gradient for 100m segments of a network of streams. I'm already able to do this, but I ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

Is there a way to clip a raster using a vector polygon without having Spatial Analyst?

I have ArcView 10 and I'm trying to clip a DEM (TIFF) to a wilderness boundary (polygon). I know ArcView won't let me do this without Spatial Analyst, but I don't have $2500. I tried exporting my ...
8
votes
5answers
958 views

How to calculate the total ascent along a path

I am working on a series of footpath routes and have been asked if it possible to calculate the total ascent that a walker would have climbed if the travelled along each route? I know that it is ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How to get the subbasin area of each specified river segment?

I have a DEM file of one district, and I have used those following tools in spatial analyst tools in ArcGIS 10.1 to get files related to the original DEM file: Fill Flow direction Flow accumulation ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

DEM Elevation Units

I'm fairly new to the GIS world, and have a quick question. I'm currently using 10.1. I do not know much about rasters, so does transforming a DEM from one projection to another automatically convert ...