Digital elevation models
Wikle, Thomas A. Department of Geography, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma.
- DEM construction
- Research applications
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Grid-based digital elevation models (DEMs) are an important source of terrain data used in analyzing and visualizing surface landforms. In contrast to contour lines used to represent elevations on topographic maps, DEMs are electronic files that store elevation data referenced to cartesian coordinates. Each grid cell is represented by an elevation (z) value, an easting or longitude (x) coordinate, and a northing or latitude coordinate (y). The level of detail, also known as the resolution, in a DEM is a function of the horizontal distance between sampling points (see table). DEMs are similar in structure to the digital ground models (DGMs) used in the United Kingdom and the digital height models (DHMs) used in Germany.
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