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PlanetDEM – A Highly Reliable Digital Elevation Model

By Eric Van Rees - 16th November 2021 - 15:11

PlanetObserver has released PlanetDEM, its new global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with a 30m and a 90m resolution.

What is new?

Simply everything… from the source of the data to the documentation of the new PlanetDEM dataset. It is based on ALOS World 3D – 30m (AW3D30) open-source data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Even though this source data has been greatly improved and complemented, it still contains many errors that limit its reliability and use. Therefore, great value has been added by correcting the highest number of spatial errors possible through the detection of inaccurate artifact spikes and depressions. Also, repairing interposing data that appears when deleting the errors.

As a result, PlanetObserver has corrected 35% of the Earth’s tiles and therefore created a medium-resolution, high-quality elevation model with 7-meter horizontal and vertical accuracy.

What about quality?

PlanetDEM’s quality control steps include checking the completeness of the dataset, the statistical plausibility, and the overall visual plausibility. The dataset comes with a mask file that details the source of each pixel and complete metadata. This information is key for sensitive DEM applications that need to meet specific reliability standards. Furthermore, these quality control steps, and documentation make PlanetDEM a highly reliable Digital Surface Model.

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