There are studies on SRTM data vertical elevation accuracy, which seem to indicate that there are around an average of 5m vertical error when compared with a DEM derived from cartographic maps.

Obviously, with that kind of error, one can't rely on SRTM to do accurate cut fill calculation. But SRTM can still be useful for preliminary site study, as long as the relative contour lines and essential topological features still remain intact.

My site is an area covered with forest, nearby to a small town ( population around 2000), somewhere in the middle Borneo. I will need to do preliminary site study, like prelim. proposal of roads, drains and important water detention facilities like (man-made) ponds.

Is SRTM good enough in preserving the relative contour lines and essential topological features?

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    I believe one of the SRTM products is something like SRTMH which has been hydrologically enforced... but good enough is a qualitative term not an absolute, what's good enough for one may be unusable to another. Perhaps you can explain a bit more about your objective and a measure of how good is good enough in your estimation. An indication of your area of interest might also help; some might know of a better and cheap (or free) alternative that would make this whole question moot. – Michael Stimson Jul 16 '18 at 7:17
  • @MichaelStimson, question updated – Graviton Jul 16 '18 at 7:45
  • That article says the 5m error is in parts where no data was collected and the values have been interpolated. Do you know if your region has been interpolated or not? – Spacedman Jul 16 '18 at 8:34
  • @Spacedman, I don't know. – Graviton Jul 16 '18 at 8:37
  • The original, with no interpolation, is available developmentseed.org/blog/2010/may/04/srtm-data-amazons-cloud may explain better. Where this raster is NoData the SRTM is interpolated. – Michael Stimson Jul 16 '18 at 23:24

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