The term digital surface model (DSM) represents the earth's surface and includes all objects on it. In contrast to this, a digital terrain model (DTM) or digital surface model (DSM) represents the bare ground surface without any objects like trees and buildings. A DEM can be represented as a raster (a grid of squares, also known as a heightmap when representing elevation) or as a vector-based triangular irregular network (TIN).
Bureau Stephan has the necessary tools and expertise to create DSM/DEM products from a sequence of overlapping aerial photos and/or LIDAR data. Bureau Stephan creates high quality Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) to support specialized applications such as 3D modeling, volumetric calculations, powerline as-built surveys, contour generation, orthophoto rectification, and flood plain mapping.
Common uses of DEMs include:
- Extracting terrain parameters for geomorphology
- Modeling water flow for hydrology or mass movement (for example avalanches and landslides)
- Creation of relief maps
- Rendering 3D visualizations.
- Creation of physical models (including raised relief maps)
- Orthorectification of aerial photography or satellite imagery
- Creation of True Orthophotos
- Reduction (terrain correction) of gravity measurements (gravimetry, physical geodesy)
- Terrain analysis in geomorphology and physical geography
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- Engineering and infrastructure design
- Satellite navigation
- Line-of-sight analysis
- Base mapping
- Flight simulation
- Precision farming and forestry
- Surface analysis
- Intelligent transportation systems
- Auto safety / Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)