Digital Elevation Model (DEM)

Digital Elevation Models (DEM) are one of many products that we create from lidar data. It is a digital representation of the Earth's topographic surface; it has no surface features such as buildings or vegetation. We create high-resolution DEMs from LIDAR point cloud data by removing surface features and examining the ground elevation.

A standard DEM Digital Elevation Model represents the Earth's topographic surface and includes flat water surfaces. Each DEM dataset is identified by its horizontal resolution and created according to a consistent set of specifications. Our standard DEMs are characterized as either project-based or seamless.

Project-based DEMs can be used for the entire area coverage of the project if created using light detection and ranging (LIDAR). Seamless DEMs are created by combining only the highest quality project data with a continuous terrain surface. The data is distributed into tiles, which can be combined to support analysis across large geographic areas.


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