I have an 8 km by 8 km raster of 20 m/pixel terrain data. The georeference data has been lost. All I know is that it's within 100 km of Smithers, BC. I realize that this might involve some very heavy raster processing, but - is there any way I could find the location by matching against existing DEM/CDED rasters in the area?

  • so the raster is raw values? That is, it's more than the coordinate system is unknown?
    – mkennedy
    Nov 2, 2012 at 23:45
  • Does it have any rivers, valleys? Or well-shaped hills? Then you could try to relate it with satellite images.
    – nadya
    Nov 3, 2012 at 2:10
  • It's British Columbia — it's all rivers and well-shaped hills ;-) The source data are likely from NRCan's free Geobase terrain, but translated to UTM.
    – scruss
    Nov 3, 2012 at 13:00
  • Can we see the image? Nov 3, 2012 at 20:02
  • If you go to 128.03982 W, 54.39992 N on the Geobase viewer, you'll see roughly what I'm looking at: geobase.ca/geobase/en/…
    – scruss
    Nov 17, 2012 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


You could manually georeference to another existing DEM product (SRTM maybe, but resolution disparity would be huge). Having said that, you are better off trying to get the georeferencing info from somewhere as DEM to DEM registration when the DEMs have different resolutions is super hard. Perhaps contact the person(s) who created the original data?

  • Yes, I know this is a hard question. That's why I asked. It turns out that the metadata report that went along with this project stated the wrong UTM zone, so while that particular problem is solved for me, the general solution isn't - can terrain matching be done at all?
    – scruss
    Nov 3, 2012 at 13:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.