Digital Elevation Model Technologies & Applications, 3rd Ed
Digital Elevation Model Technologies & Applications, 3rd Ed
The 3rd edition of the DEM Users Manual includes 15 chapters, three appendices and a detailed Index: References in the eBook version are hyperlinked. Chapter and appendix titles include:

1. Introduction to DEMs
2. Vertical Datums
3. Standards, Guidelines & Specifications
4. The National Elevation Dataset (NED)
5. The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP)
6. Photogrammetry
7. IfSAR
8. Airborne Topographic Lidar
9. Lidar Data Processing
10. Airborne Lidar Bathymetry
11. Sonar
12. Enabling Technologies
13. DEM User Applications
14. DEM User Requirements & Benefits
15. Quality Assessment of Elevation Data
A. Acronyms
B. Definitions
C. Sample Datasets

In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) to provide not just bare earth DEMs, but a full suite of 3D elevation products using Quality Levels (QLs) that are standardized and consistent across the U.S. and territories. The 3DEP is based on the National Enhanced Elevation Assessment (NEEA) which evaluated 602 different mission-critical requirements for and benefits from enhanced elevation data of various QLs and update frequencies for 34 Federal agencies, all 50 states (with local and Tribal input), and 13 non-governmental organizations. The NEEA documented the highest Return on Investment from QL2 lidar for the conterminous states, Hawaii and U.S. territories, and QL5 IfSAR for Alaska.

USGS’ Lidar Base Specification (LBS) is now used nationwide to produce standardized and consistent topographic lidar of all QLs, and Chapters 1, 3, 5, 8, 9, 13, 14, and 15 are “must-read” chapters for users and providers of topographic lidar data. Chapter 8 addresses linear mode, single photon and Geiger mode lidar technologies, and Chapter 10 addresses the latest in topobathymetric lidar. The remaining chapters are either relevant to all DEM technologies or address alternative technologies including photogrammetry, IfSAR, and sonar.

As demonstrated by the figures selected for the front cover of this manual, readers will recognize the editor’s vision for the future a 3D Nation that seamlessly merges topographic and bathymetric data from the tops of the mountains, beneath the rivers and lakes, to the depths of the sea.

David F. Maune, PhD, CP, CFM, PSM, PS, GS, SP
Amar Nayegandhi, CP, CMS-Remote Sensing


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