I am new to GIS field. Is there any open source GIS tool to view DTED and DEM tiff-files?

Update 1

I have some DTED files and DEM files. I want to open and see those files using some open source GIS tools. Can I use MapWindow GIS or QGIS for this? Are there any other tools available?

Please advise.

  • 3
    What file extention (format) do those data have? DTED/DEM could be anything from a tiff/png/etc to a database.
    – GR_
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 7:47

4 Answers 4


in qgis, you can see your dted files as contour map or hillshade map, if it helps.

for converting your file to contour:

Raster → Extraction → Contour

for converting it to hillshade:

Raster → Analysis → DEM (Terrain Models).

This examples from Paulina Fernandez Luengo which shows hillshade and contour map together.


i hope it helps you...


QGIS supports tiff and DTED files. You can load them by going to Layer → Add Raster Layer and then navigating to your files. Here's a tutorial on working with terrain data in QGIS that should get you started.

Good luck :)

  • You can easily drag and drop files in QGIS. If it is not supported, an error apears.
    – Sajjad
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 8:16

GRASS GIS supports about 80 raster formats including various DEM and DTED formats. You can do it all via a convenient wizard:



I recommend you SAGA GIS. It comes in different flavours (.exe or portable, 32 or 64 bits, Windows or Linux), and it is a handy tool. You can import DTED files, and also .tiff files using Import/Export - GDAL/OGR > GDAL: Import Raster module.

Import a .dt1 file

After that you can make 2D and 3D visualizations, coutour extraction, shading and so on.

2D view

3D view

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